May/19

14

Jimmy Arias Suggests Kyrgios Is A Bad Influence on Tiafoe

By Scoop Malinowski

Jimmy Arias is always an interesting interview and TV match analyst who has shown over the years he will mix in blunt criticisms of players with his expert analysis.

If a player does good things on the court, Arias will credit it. If they do bad things on or off court, Arias will question it or mildly denounce it.

Today during the Kyrgios vs Medvedev match in Rome on the Tennis Channel, Arias made some comments about the underachieving Australian that most TV commentators would not dare to make.

At first, Arias credited and appreciated the variety and creativity and risk-taking of the  Kyrgios arsenal. Arias liked Nick’s use of drop shots, underhanded serving and even hitting right at Medvedev. At one point, Kyrgios hit drop shots on three points in a row and even tried a fake dropper and disguised it with a forehand blast.

But then Arias targeted the aspects of Kyrgios that has confounded the tennis world – his work ethic and inconsistent competitive attitude. Arias cited the “ego” of Kyrgios for his inexplicable fluctuations of intensity, where it seems he rebels against giving 100% effort and hustle against certain players he feels are inferior or that he should beat. Arias suggested it will be very hard for Kyrgios to change this characteristic at his age (24).

Then, Arias kept talking about one of the most intriguing figures in professional tennis during the Frances Tiafoe vs Joao Sousa match. Arias noted that Tiafoe and Kyrgios are good friends and that they spend time together hanging out and he questioned if that was a good decision by Tiafoe to be influenced by a controversial, underachieving star like Kyrgios. Arias bluntly said, “If I was Frances’ father, I would discourage him from hanging out with Nick.”

In the TV tennis world we rarely hear commentators tell it like it is or say anything remotely challenging or questioning of a star player. Arias deserves credit for showing such commentating bravery.

Kyrgios will surely hear about what Arias said today. It will be interesting to see how these comments provoke him or perhaps will they strike a nerve that may help him in the long run.

 

 

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52 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 19, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    One of the eternal mysteries of the tennis world is why does muguruza stick with Sumyk and vice versa?

  • Hartt · May 19, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    Tennis surprises us once again. Who would have predicted before today’s final that Rafa would feed Novak a bagel and a bread stick (while losing the second set)? This is the first time in their long rivalry that one of them got a bagel in a match between the two.

    Even though Novak was obviously tired, this was still a shock.

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