Nick Kyrgios has again fallen foul of Wimbledon officialdom, but his latest violation is a real head scratcher.
The 20-year-old firebrand, who clashed with umpires and linesmen in his opening two matches, was down a set when he reached into his ever-growing bag of tricks and pulled out a headband.
The officially-branded Wimbledon headband, complete with traditional green and purple stripes, proved an immediate catalyst for Kyrgios’ game as he turned the match against Milos Raonic on its head to win 5-7 7-5 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 to secure a place in the fourth round.
But it also caught the attention of umpire Manuel Messina, who felt Kyrgios was flaunting the Wimbledon’s famous all-white dress code with his apparently garish wardrobe choice and ordered him to turn it inside out.
The dress code has been a major talking point at this year’s tournament, with Kyrgios’ violation joining the farcical scenes this week where Eugenie Bouchard narrowly escaped a slap on the wrist when her black bra could be seen underneath her white top.
Even the typically ice-cool Roger Federer, a seven-time Wimbledon champion, was miffed.
“They’ve gone too far now. The rules have become ridiculously strict,” Federer said.
“I would be in favour of loosening it up a little bit. But it is what it is.”
The Wimbledon rules state: “Competitors must be dressed in suitable tennis attire that is almost entirely white and this applies from the point at which the player enters the court surround.”
Kyrgios was down 3-2 in the second set and becoming increasingly vocal against the unflappable Raonic when he donned the headwear.
From there, he turned it on, sending down 34 aces and blasting 61 winners.