Woman sues tennis star Nick Kyrgios over Wimbledon drinking comment

Anna Palus launches defamation case against player who accused her of having 'about 700 drinks' during the Wimbledon final

Nick Kyrgios's surprise run to his first grand slam final was littered with controversy. PA
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A spectator is launching legal action against Nick Kyrgios after he accused her of having “about 700 drinks” during this year’s Wimbledon final.

The tennis star complained to the umpire about the behaviour of Anna Palus in his four-set defeat by Novak Djokovic on Centre Court.

Kyrgios had received a code violation for swearing after a spectator called out before his second serve, when he then implored umpire Renaud Lichtenstein to have the woman “who looks like she’s had about 700 drinks” ejected.

Ms Palus was briefly removed from the court and later explained that she had only had two drinks.

“On Sunday, July 10, 2022, I attended the final of the Wimbledon tennis Championships with my mother. It was an event we had been looking forward to for some time,” said Ms Palus in a statement released by her solicitors, Brett Wilson LLP.

“During the course of the final, Nick Kyrgios made a reckless and entirely baseless allegation against me.

“Not only did this cause considerable harm on the day, resulting in my temporary removal from the arena, but Mr Kyrgios’s false allegation was broadcast to, and read by, millions around the world, causing me and my family very substantial damage and distress.”

Ms Palus insisted she is not “litigious”, but after much consideration, she concluded she had no alternative but to bring defamation proceedings against Kyrgios to clear her name.

“The need to obtain vindication, and to prevent repetition of the allegation, are the only reasons for taking legal action. Any damages recovered will be donated to charity,” she continued.

“Given the extant claim, I am unable to comment further on the events of the day in question. I hope that Mr Kyrgios will reflect on the harm he has caused me and my family and offer a prompt resolution to this matter.

“However, if he is unwilling to do this, I am committed to obtaining vindication in the High Court.”

Djokovic v Kyrgios Wimbledon final — in pictures

Kyrgios’s surprise run to his first grand slam final was littered with controversy, featuring run-ins with umpires, line judges, the media and even spectators.

The 27-year-old is also facing court proceedings in Australia after being accused of assaulting a former partner.

He is due to compete at the US Open, which starts next week.

Updated: August 24, 2022, 4:32 AM
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