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Why Nick Kyrgios' antics on the tennis court are bad for the sport

Rohan Nagaraj
577   //    26 Jan 2016, 09:52 IST
Kyrgios, the bad boy of tennis

Tennis for long has been described as an elegant sport, with many folks even calling it the ‘original beautiful game’. The sport enjoys a great stature among the young and the old alike. For such a hugely respected sport, Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios is regarded as ‘a black sheep’ in the game. 

Despite being only 20, Kyrgios tries to display his overzealous maturity on and off the tennis court. It comes as no surprise then, that the Australian is probably more famous for his eyebrow-raising antics than his actual performance on the tennis court. 

Kyrgios has never progressed beyond the quarter-final stage in any of the four Grand Slams he has played in the past few years, but he's already managed to earn a huge number of fans in Australia and from the world of social media, who constantly nudge his weird conducts. 

The Australian's worst moment in his career arrived when he drew flak over ugly sledging of Stan Wawrinka in the 2015 Rogers Cup. Kyrgios was eventually fined US$10,000 before he was let go. But the incident was too light to be dismissed, hence, the ATP went ahead and briefly suspended him.

So what is it about Kyrgios that makes people glare at him on the tennis court?

Some people argue that the fact he is Australian, which makes the case more interesting. Because traditionally, Australian cricketers have managed to use the weapon of ‘sledging’ with great effect, to break their opponent's concentration and thus, win games. To argue about Kyrgios' case on similar lines would be too naive. 

But the recent game in the Australian Open between Kyrgios and Berdych in the third round, made people wonder if the 20-year old employed to old habits. The match saw a lot of drama on the court, with ‘the bad boy of tennis’ entertaining the crowd, shouting at the umpire and even throwing his racquet in frustration.

Whether or not he did all that to break Berdych's concentration is another story, but the home favourite eventually (and obviously) went down to the Czech player 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.

Despite his comical and strange attitude on the court, there is no question that Nick is supremely talented and his aces are a treat to watch. But the real tennis fan would argue that the Canberra-born player has not done justice to his enormous talent so far, and has just displayed glimpses of his form. 

Unless and until Nick changes for good or sorts out things with himself, that Grand Slam win will continue to elude him. In his own words, Kyrgios had stated that he had not enjoyed the game in the past year, due to a couple of ugly incidents on and off the tennis court. 

Fast forward to the present day, things haven't changed much for the youngster and he remains inconsistent in crucial matches, often letting his attitude get the better of him. It would require no less than a miracle to transform himself and win over the ‘real’ crowds with his innovative tennis shots and his composed style of play.

But for this, he needs time. For the quiet spectators sitting in the stands applauding brilliant rallies, it would definitely be worth the wait to watch a reformed Kyrgios in action in the coming years.

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Rohan Nagaraj
Die-hard Federer fan, sports-freak, closely follows Cricket, Tennis, Football and Chess.
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