Nick Kyrgios: A polarizing figure

Nick Kyrgios has played 50 tennis matches in his professional career, and has already made Grand Slam quarter-finals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Along with Bernard Tomic, he is widely considered to be Australia’s next tennis hope. At 6ft 4 in, he is flamboyant, employs an aggressive style of tennis and is an avid social media user. At the age of 20, he has already bested two the greatest players of the 21st century, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Some love him, some loathe him. Many spectators have longed for characters and personalities and Kyrgios definitely fits that bill.

His performance at this year’s Championships were good but not spectacular. After beating Raonic in the third round, I’m sure he would be disappointed not to have gone on further. Unfortunately for the Australian, it was his on court and off court antics that caught the headlines.

Rd 1: Kyrgios def. Schwartzman

Kyrgios has it easy enough, winning in straight sets but not without controversy. Escaped sanctions for yelling “dirty scum” later clarifying that it was directed at himself. Also threatened to stop playing after it was discovered a shot that was initially called out was in fact in.

Rd 2: Kyrgios def. Monaco

The 20 year-old shines with his exuberant shot making to dismiss former World No. 10 Juan Monaco in straight sets. Gets reported by a lines person for swearing, retaliates with sarcasm and questions the central umpire as to whether “he felt strong up there” after giving him the cold shoulder.

Rd 3: Kyrgios def. Raonic

Receives a code violation for bouncing a racquet, and boy wasn’t he lucky that a spectator caught that otherwise that would of been an automatic disqualification. And how could we forget, the Wimbledon headband. After being warned it was against the rules, he turned it inside out.

In the middle of all this, he even managed to have a run in with Wimbledon officials off court for scaling a fence in order to watch Hewitt/Kokkinakis in the doubles. But that’s not all, in his next round against Richard Gasquet, Kyrgios took even a darker turn.

© American News

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he didn’t try during that game. Even though he attempted to press his case that he did “move”, he was already looking to the other side of his end of the court by the time that serve had come down. Not something you want to see in a professional sport. Tanking is probably not the right word in this case but more of frustration. Kyrgios’ efforts in the third and fourth sets were admirable, and the fact that he held two set points in the final set indicates that the ability is there.

But that’s not all, even after the tournament, the Australian was still making headlines. This time he became entangled in the Tomic family feud with Tennis Australia by siding with his friend and blasting Rafter’s mantra of opportunity not entitlement. He even drew the ire of one of Australia’s most respected Olympians, Dawn Fraser even though she probably went too far with her comments. On a more positive note, what Rod Laver said afterwards is something that been mentioned by so many others but so true. At end of the day, you are judged by the matches that you win not the way that you conduct yourself. Nick Kyrgios, I hope you’re listening before its too late.

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