Nick Kyrgios, the Australian tennis star, took the tennis family by storm after coming up the ranks in recent times. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all for the best reasons.
His flamboyant attitude and short temper were quite new to the otherwise respectable bunch of players and it was certainly something very new to the entire sport. His on-court antics and persona were so radical and new that many labeled him a tyrant and a never-to-succeed player. But year after year, he has been playing against some top players with intense quality and has beaten many to win some notable titles.
What Kyrgios brought to tennis
His style of play is odd as he loves to play the entertainer on-court much to the amusement of many who watch. He brought something to tennis that was missing for quite some time. Other sports like Basketball, UFC, and Football have their fair share of rebellious, bad boy personalities who tend to hit the headlines more often than the others and cause lots of news coverage; tennis seems to have found its own.
Upon his ascent to stardom, there was a large divide in the tennis family as to whether Nick was a capable player to win titles and compete with the best. His nonchalant attitude proved to be quite the ruse for many to believe that he is not one to succeed. But there were always bright sparks in his games which proved otherwise.
Famously defeating Nadal and then Djokovic followed by bad-mouthing the Australian led to many mixed feelings. When asked, Kyrgios always answered easily, claiming he never trained for hours and hours like the “other big guys” and only played for the fun of tennis. But when the time would come for him when he starts putting those long hours in, those who ultimately decide who finishes the race, was unmistakably a mystery. Nick’s on-court antics continued, from incessant racquet abuse calls, to completely getting disqualified from a match, he never looked like sobering up and acting a little more mature.
He claimed that he would play and do whatever he felt with little care for people watching or judging. It is a wonderful ability to close out your critics and the billions of people who have an opinion on everything. But this was a little too far. Not only was Kyrigios painting a “bad-boy” sort of picture for himself, but he was also causing quite the disrespect for the sport’s general peaceful nature.
Is he bringing popularity to tennis?
It was true that he was bringing popularity to tennis to many laymen but at quite the hefty price. After winning a most amazing final against Medvedev in Washington and claiming his 6th ATP title, he seems to have turned over a new leaf. Claiming to have structured new stratagem to his game and strengthened his play and generally gotten more serious with his tennis, the Australian might just be on the verge of something big.
What about Nick at the US Open?
Winning titles gives a player confidence and greater incentive to work harder to get that winning feeling again. Kyrigios would want that, and he looks to be working for that. Consecutive defeats in the Canadian Open and Cincinnati following massive tirades and whiplashes from all frontiers against him for his behavior has again ironically set him back quite a few paces. But this should bolster the fact that he can now probably perform better in the US Open as he shifts all his attention to the last slam of the year.
Whether or not the feisty challenger will ever reach great heights depends solely on himself. For long periods he has hidden behind the fact of not “trying as hard” and not “wanting it as much.” But as we come to a period where he wants glories in the sport, he is bound to start putting in those hours. With proper support and coaching, Nick should perform much better. But the billion-dollar question remains, “Will he keep his head?”. Nick is known to have literally tossed matches, that he could have won, into the bin just because of an argument with a stubborn umpire or a contentious call. As he has said, he simply cannot keep his head. Watching his idol, Roger Federer, he is always in awe of the Swiss’ chill demeanor even in the face of injustice. So, unless Nick embodies the persona of calm and consistent player, dishing away the old hot-headed one, he is bound to fall prey to his own acts. Thus, Nick himself can decide whether he proves himself or not.
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