Tennis Prose



Courtside Report: Kyrgios vs 3 Juniors in Mini Tennis


By Scoop Malinowski

Maybe this Nick Kyrgios shapshot anecdote observed by former ATP top 60 player Gilad Bloom, explains Nick Kyrgios better than any of his own words or his matches…

“I went to the Open on Friday and was wandering around the outside courts then I saw Kyrgios on the court fooling around and playing a mini tennis game with three other juniors for about an hour,” said Bloom. “He was so into it! Competitive and alert, fighting for every point, engaged, upbeat and happy!”

“I’ve never seen a professional waste so much energy on the practice court the day before a match against (arguably) the best player of all times (Roger Federer). Then he goes to the actual match (on Saturday) and looks like a lost puppy.”

“Yes he has talent in his hands, mostly his serve, but from a coaching point of view he has bad technique, bad footwork, bad body language, plays stupid and sets a bad example. It’s unfortunate because outside the court he seems like a nice dude. He better make enough money during his career.”

So there you have it. We can make conclude the following:

Nick Kyrgios surely loves tennis, it’s the losing part and the pressure to win that torments his soul.

If Nick Kyrgios could generate the passion and fury and joy against the top ATP players that he can playing mini tennis games with juniors, he might be able to make his long-awaited Grand Slam breakout.

(Scoop’s latest book Facing Marat Safin is available at amazon for $9.99.)

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  • Joe Blow · September 3, 2018 at 11:49 am

  • Duke Carnoustie · September 3, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Scoop I disagree. Passion and fury isn’t the problem as much as the bad technique and bad footwork and other bad habits. Those are technical qualities that require lots of work and coaching. Beyond that, his tennis brain is so scattershot as witnessed by the 40-15 drop shot that even Fed laughed about in his press conference.

    He did come close to a Masters title and that is his ceiling, riding his serve over a 5-day span to win one of those. A two-week event in which you have to take care of yourself and focus is too much for his pea brain to handle.
    He is beyond a shadow of a doubt a nice guy and an inspiration to young children – but he also has the IQ and attention span of a young child. I really think his brain should be examined.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 3, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    Duke, Nick beat Fed Rafa and Djok the first time he played each with his bad footwork and bad habits. Nick is like Muhammad Ali, he does it his way. Ali boxed with his hands down, and he was the best. Nick has special qualities and skills like Ali but not the warrior heart and soul like Ali had. Nick showed more heart in the mini tennis games vs the juniors than a lot of his pro matches, which shows his wiring is all messed up.

  • Duke Carnoustie · September 4, 2018 at 1:33 am

    Scoop, so you think because he won those matches he can coast along and not improve? What is your takeaway from Bloom’s words? That Nick is doing well because in spite of his flaws he rose to No. 15 in the world? A lot of layers have been ranked No. 15.

    Most athletes change because the game changes. Roger added new weapons. Tiger Woods changed his swing. Why is it acceptable for Nick to do the same thing for four years straight and never crack the top 10?

    If you try harder in min-tennis than on Ashe Stadium vs. Fed, it shows that you have serious psychological and mental problems, no?

    You are comparing Nick to Ali? Why not compare Nick to Richard Gasquet? Isn’t that more approrpiate?

  • Leif Wellington Haase · September 4, 2018 at 2:51 am

    It doesn’t appear that way based on round and ranking, but I’d make the case, based on prior form and match circumstances, that John Millman’s defeat of Roger Federer (with Federer up a set and serving 5-4, 40-15) is one of the greatest upsets in tennis history, right up there with Bastl-Sampras, Becker-Doohan, and a handful of others.

    Millman is a nice guy even by nice guy standards, let alone for pro athletes, and a consummate professional. But his entire career has been injury-plagued, he’s been mostly a Challenger player, and he can count the number of significant tour level wins on the fingers of one hand. In addition to the heat, I think that Fed was looking ahead to Djokovic and at some level trying out shots (particularly the wide serve that kept failing) that he’d need in the next match. By the time he started to focus on Millman he’d given the Aussie confidence and his mostly wretched play, especially in the fourth set tiebreaker, was a gift that just kept giving.

    So happy for Millman who is a deserving winner, kept his cool, and is a class act through and through, but this victory is a huge boost for Djokovic as he tries to add another US Open title to his Grand Slam collection.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 4, 2018 at 7:53 am

    Millman Sandgrened Federer. This win by Millman was sparked and inspired to a degree by what Sandgren did in Australia. It took seven years for Millman to win his first ATP main tour match, about the same amount of time it took Sandgren who finally got his first ATP main draw win last summer in Washington DC at about 1130 at night vs a Japanese player, which I was fortunate to witness. Sandgren’s QF heroics in Melbourne changed the game. Now every one has belief. Federer couldn’t finish Millman in the second set, that’s what happens to the greats at the end, they can’t finish anymore. We saw it most blatantly with Chang at the end, if any of you remember, he simply couldn’t finish off matches at the end. This is a very worrisome sign for Fed that the end is near. He’s putting the blame on the heat and humidity as he should. His ego has to create a sufficient alibi – Wally Masur told us how the ego lies and fabricates excuses to protect itself. Perhaps Fed subconsciously tanked because he knows he’s not ready to lose to Djokovic again and losing to Millman is far less excruciating? Agassi actually said he lost to Chang at US Open that one year because he’d rather lose to Chang than Becker in the next round. But full credit to Millman for stepping up and establishing himself now as an elite name in pro tennis, like Sandgren did in Melbourne. Elite wins against legends like Federer can never be erased from Millman’s career.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 4, 2018 at 8:01 am

    Duke, Kyrgios has everything to be great and to achieve great results except for the mind. He’s a million dollar talent with a ten cent head. All he needs to do is adjust his brain. The game is there, the easy power is there, the techniques are there to beat Fed, Rafa and Djokovic regularly. But his mind is not strong enough to do it consistently. His mind is lazy and weak. It’s like a sprinter, the sprinter has to sprint as fast as he can to win the race. Nick would rather not sprint, he’d rather jog and enjoy the race. Yes, Nick has Ali qualities but he also has idiot mental qualities. He can fight when he wants, remember he saved about ten match points against Gasquet at Wimbledon. If he had that kind of mindset every match, he would be top 3 in the world.

  • Duke Carnoustie · September 4, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Right I think he has serious mental issues and should see a psychologist. Also mommy issues since he still needs her around at his age. Not sure that medication can treat a low IQ but it’s worth a shot.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 4, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Nick is not mental but he’s on the immature side and he stubbornly insists on running his career on his terms the way he wants to do it. Nobody is having more fun on Tour than Nick, he’s nobody’s puppet, he’s not a slave to the sport like some top players become. He’s doing it just like Frank Sinatra sand to us about. Hope Nick posts a karaoke someday of him singing MY WAY. 🙂



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