19 August 2019

The curious case of Kyrgios

| Michael Weaver
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The pleasure and pain of Nick Kyrgios is a story that continues to make all the wrong headlines. Photo: Twitter.

Canberra tennis player Nick Kyrgios is once again in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Yet it will no doubt register as a mere blip on his radar.

The 24-year-old has been fined a record sum of $US113,000 ($A167,000) by the ATP for his latest tantrum. The fines include five charges of unsportsmanlike conduct totalling $US85,000, $US20,000 for verbal abuse, $US5000 for an audible obscenity and $US3000 for leaving the court.

He also lost his round two match against Russian Karen Khachanov at the Cincinnati Masters.

Now we’ve got the facts out of the way, let’s look into the wound, one that gets deeper each time we probe.

Nick Kyrgios is indeed a curious character and one we have a love/hate relationship with. We would love to see him create headlines for just winning. I definitely cheered his incredible fight and spirit when he upset then world number one Rafael Nadal in the 2014 Wimbledon quarter-final. I thought, ‘here’s a guy with a big attitude and an equally big serve to back it up’.

Kyrgios also has one of the best win/loss ratios against any top ten ATP player on the tour and is only the third player, after Dominik Hrbaty and fellow Australian Lleyton Hewitt, to have beaten Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic in their first meetings.

Two weeks ago, Kyrgios won his second title of the year over Daniil Medvedev in the final of the Washington Open. Nick called it one of the best weeks of his life from a tennis perspective.

He mixes shots now dubbed the ‘tweener’ (a shot hit from between the legs) with underarm serves, which doesn’t even deserve a pet name.

This tweet says it all.

I am personally not a fan of his childish attitude and his association with the term ‘tanking’.

For his similar lack of effort in the Cincinnati Masters, Kyrgios received the heaviest fine ever served up by the ATP, yet it is still akin to a slap on the wrist. He has earned $1.1 million so far this year, and the fine is a mere drop volley in comparison.

When we look at childish behaviour in society, we always cast the first stone at the parents. Perhaps, the ATP has to take a more hard-line approach, rather than just being a big brother.

Let’s also consider the behaviour of fellow players Ash Barty and Serena Williams, who definitely have the emotional maturity to accept their losses. They have both been ranked as the number one player this year.

While Williams has also made headlines for her tantrums, her determination to be the best brings justifiable amounts of admiration. Sure Nick Kyrgios may be working just as hard and wants to be the best he possibly can be, but I worry that Kyrgios will never be crowned a king because of his lack of emotional maturity. That underarm serve clearly falls short of the mark.

When our favourite football team loses, we, unfortunately, descend into taking aim at umpiring decisions. When Kyrgios took aim at Irish umpire Fergus Murphy this week, it had a similar effect.

Kyrgios obsessed with Murphy’s monitoring of the shot clock and simply got out of time with the match.

Kyrgios called Murphy a “disgrace” and the “worst ref in the world”, and other touts not worth giving space to here.

He even called the Irishman a “potato”. It would be laughable if it wasn’t such a disgrace.

Am I not the only one who would love to see this obviously talented individual making headlines for all the right reasons? Perhaps he should give up the day job and pursue a career as a comedian.

Original Article published by Michael Weaver on The RiotACT.

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