Video: Nick Kyrgios in sweet gesture to ailing fan at Japan Open
Among the top players playing the Rakuten Japan Open in the country’s capital, Tokyo, Australian ace Nick Kyrgios played his first round match against American qualifier Ryan Harrison yesterday, winning 7-5, 6-2.
Known more for his non-sporting antics on the court than the immense skill he has otherwise shown, Kyrgios’ run-ins with a number of fellow players have preceded him. Considered by many of his fellow players and seniors as having an ‘attitude problem’, Kyrgios has become the bete noire of the media, with even the notoriously temperamental John McEnroe calling for the young Australian to ‘leave the sport’ if he could not manage an attitude overhaul.
But it appears Kyrgios is not as bad as he is made out to be. With his American rival the one to lose his temper in the stands, Kyrgios kept his cool for the win – but it was halfway through the match in Tokyo that a local fan took a tumble down the steps and suffered a fall, allegedly fainting in the process.
The quick-thinking Kyrgios tossed a cold bottle of water from the players’ cooler towards a man in the stands assisting the injured fan, ensured the fan was back on his feet, and continued the game.
Kyrgios, currently ranked 15th on the ATP standings, has won two titles this year – the first of them in at the ATP250 Open 13 Provence in Marseille, France – which was his first ever title. He appears to have made a habit of beating big servers, following up that title with the second of his career so far, with top honours at the BB&T Atlanta, where he beat tall American ace John Isner in the final.
The yong player is currently at 14th on the Road to London at the ATP World Tour Finals with 1915 points behind France’s Lucas Pouille, who is at 1991 and on course to play Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals of the ATP500 China Open in the capital, Beijing.
A popular figure in Japan due to his friendship with local ace Kei Nishikori, Kyrgios has also found support from World No. 2 Andy Murray, who has described him in the past as a “nice guy.”