Tennis Prose



Nick Kyrgios: The People’s Champion

He may not hold any major titles or won any major championships to earn the honor to be called a “world champion” but Nick Kyrgios isn’t losing any sleep over his ATP status. His ambitions and aspirations are more personal and unique. Nick may be the most approachable, engaging professional tennis player in the sport today. If anybody deserves to the honor and distinction of being a “People’s Champion” it’s the charismatic Australian.

The 2019 Citi Open singles champion Kyrgios loves Washington DC and the tennis fans from the region.

“Yeah, well, definitely feels like home. The first time I came on site today, everyone was kind of embracing me. Felt like I was playing almost in Australia. I feel completely comfortable here.”

“Yeah, I just love the fans. I’m extremely happy to see the Citi Open. I’m pretty sure it’s full capacity… You can feel the energy around the courts.”

The natural born free spirit Kyrgios sees himself as an inspiration and entertainer for the people, a bonafide champion of the people.

“I feel as if I’m not playing for myself anymore. I feel like I’m kind of playing for a lot of people who can relate to me. I feel like when I was young, I didn’t really have goals to win Slams or anything like that… Obviously became kind of good, I guess. Then I beat all the top players, won some titles. Feel like I’ve been pretty iconic in the sport in the sense of doing it my own way, bridging the gap between I think basketball and tennis there now. I’ve accomplished a lot.”

“I enjoy now playing just for fun. I really do enjoy just being around fans, just talking with them, getting to know what they do. It was just, like, some touching moments that I remember, my favorite parts of my career, just being with fans, giving them some hope.”

Kyrgios will play American Mackie McDonald in the first round in singles. In doubles Nick will unite with local hero Frances Tiafoe and they will duel third seed tandem of Ivan Dodig and Rohan Bopanna.

Regarding doubles hopes with Big Foe, Nick is making no promises. “I don’t know how we’re going to concentrate out there. That’s one thing. I could be an absolute disaster or it could be a lot of fun. Me and Frances, when we’re together, we don’t stop laughing and we don’t have any sort of tennis talk really. We’ll see how it’s going to go. I think that one’s obviously just for the crowd.”

With career wins over Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, Kyrgios, now 26, is happy to continue to blaze his own trails in the ATP. Wherever those trails lead to, no one can accurately predict.

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