If you are not a regular fan of Tennis and want to be entertained, I have two words – Nick Kyrgios.
The unique, charismatic and heavily controversial character is something the sport lacks and spectators have split opinions on his actions – I find it absolutely brilliant!
Standing at 6”4, regularly serving 130+ mph second serves and playing shots 99.9% of tennis players would not even think to play, Kyrgios inherits an abundance of talent and it’s a shame he fails to apply that at a consistent level.
The Spring-born 24-year-old relishes the challenge of facing ‘upper echelon’ performers and his ferocious rivalry with Rafael Nadal – one of the greatest players to grace the sport – is always an entertaining spectacle.
You only have to look back to Wimbledon of this year to gain an insightful look into the Kyrgios world. The Australian met Nadal in the second round, omitting every single personality trait in one match. Whether you want to see explosive, unprecedented shots or fluctuating levels of rage, Kyrgios is your man.
The traditionalists in Tennis tend to disagree with Kyrgios’ attitude towards the sport, somewhat insulted by his uncharacteristic qualities. He is far from your average Joe – constantly giving 100% and exhibiting positive emotions is not who he is, and a large portion of the Tennis community do not value his contributions to the sport.
But do you honestly think he cares one, single ounce?
Kyrgios has, in the past, been accused of failing to provide a competitive match throughout the entirety as he resembles someone who simply cannot be bothered to play a point. This is true, but commentators and viewers are too quick to jump on the back of the 6”4 giant before he silences his critics with a piece of outstanding skill.
Tennis lacks outgoing, exciting, and quite frankly, hilarious demeanours in the sport. Too often are we left to watch robotic, mechanical figures who fail to provide any entertainment value other than the quality of their tennis. Kyrgios is the most entertaining player to watch in the world and his skill level often gets overlooked due to his unprecedented characteristics.
And that is the issue. People are offended by his methods because they fail to line up with the ‘traditional’ way of Tennis and he is not allowed to be labelled as a Tennis player like the others. People commentate on how disappointed Kyrgios’ Dad must be to witness his son’s outbursts of rage and anger.
How profoundly ignorant. Kyrgios in Wimbledon this summer went toe-to-toe with the impervious Nadal, separated by the finest of margins in two tie-breaks after the scores were level at 1-1. And to think his father does not watch on with anything other than immense pride is baffling.
People want Nick Kyrgios, a unique character in, not just Tennis, but the sporting world, to become someone he simply is not. He is someone who certainly has his flaws, make no mistake of that, but what an outstanding entertainer and athlete he is.
Try and bottle Kyrgios up and the lid will explode every time – and that is what makes him such a joyous performer. He does not hide his emotions. Every feeling of pain, frustration or overwhelming sense of joy we feel with him, as spectators.
Tennis is an extraordinary sport, so instead of belittling and degrading a man who has shaken up the scene and sparked life into every match he has participated in, appreciate Kyrgios. If you want the sport to continuously churn out traditional, talented players who are swept aside by the three giants Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Nadal every year, then maybe it is time to re-evaluate your attitude towards Tennis. Learn to embrace unique, mesmerising and simply outstanding characters like Kyrgios instead of repelling them.
Kyrgios is due on the Louis Armstrong court tonight against Sam Johnson of the USA.
This blog was written by Frankie Levin, an intern at Snack Media and Football Fancast.