Tennis Prose



Warriors Have No Time For Clowns

By Scoop Malinowski

Nick Kyrgios crashed out of the Australian Open last night in three sets to Milos Raonic, it’s the first time the Aussie entertainer has ever lost in the first round of the Melbourne major and now his ranking could fall all the way to the 75 region.

A few days ago, Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis tweeted that Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt had abandoned them both. Apparently the former world no. 1 and two time major champion Hewitt can no longer tolerate the unreliable unprofessionalism of Kyrgios and Kokkinakis.

After the loss yesterday, Kyrgios was asked by a reporter if he is involved in a feud with Hewitt and the colorful, flamboyant underachiever did not deny the charge.

Q. Is there a rift between you and Lleyton Hewitt?
NICK KYRGIOS: Not really.

Q. Not really?
NICK KYRGIOS: Is there an echo in here?

Q. Bernard Tomic named you and Kokkinakis as both having told him that you don’t want to play while Lleyton is captain. How do you respond to that?

NICK KYRGIOS: I don’t know what to say. Like, I don’t have a big deal with anything. I’ve always wanted to play Davis Cup. I love Davis Cup. If I don’t play, I don’t play. Like, I’m available. That’s all I got to say. Like, what do you want from me?

Q. Are you upset that Bernard made those comments last night and mentioned you?
NICK KYRGIOS: I am not upset.

Q. What is it like being part of a tennis country that always makes this much news for this stuff all the time? Is it fun? Is it exhausting?

NICK KYRGIOS: I think it’s ridiculous, to be honest. With all the issues that are going on in the world, we’re focusing on someone’s comments about Davis Cup. It’s pretty sad. It’s pretty sad.

Q. Do you support Lleyton as captain going forward?
NICK KYRGIOS: This bloke does not stop (laughter).

Could it be that Hewitt has lost all faith and confidence in Kyrgios and has decided to cut off the man he previously coached and spent a lot of time trying to help in favor of dedicating his time to building up hard working, aspiring gladiators like Aldex deMinaur, Alex Bolt, Jordan Thompson and John Millman?

Does a warrior have time for clowns?

· · ·


  • catherine · January 15, 2019 at 10:43 am

    He did deny the charge. He said ‘not really.’

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 15, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Catherine, Nick could have said, absolutely not, I love Lleyton and Lleyton loves me and still believes in my future and wants me to play for his Davis Cup team. I only played Laver Cup instead of Davis Cup because Lleyton allowed me to have a vacation from Davis Cup:)

  • catherine · January 15, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Scoop – he could’ve said that but he didn’t. Those words don’t sound like Nick πŸ™‚

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 15, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    Catherine, do you think Tomic speaks the truth and Kyrgios made a very lame attempt at damage control?

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 15, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    Surprised Hewitt even bothered to come out and watch Kyrgios lose to Raonic. I saw Nick try two clown shots, a behind the back and between the legs backhands and he netted both. Even his clown shots aren’t working anymore. He looked like a sad wasted talent finished player last night. Finished as in you just know he’s never going to change and threaten the top ten again. He will forever be an irrelevant wasted force.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 15, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    Tomic and Kyrgios are the bad boys of Australian tennis but they may have a point. At the same time, I believe Hewitt is considered a jerk by the Australian public as well. So no winners here.

    Beyond that, Davis Cup is a watered down competition so Hewitt being captain isn’t really anything important and I doubt Aussie fans care about the Davis Cup team.

    Jack Sock did his part to make Hewitt look good by losing to Bolt. That is Alex Bolt, not Usain Bolt although Sock could lose to him too. And why is he playing doubles with some unknown? It makes no sense.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 15, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Wayne, hewitt’s image has changed in Australia, he’s far more respected now than he was as a player, far more appreciated. For my book Facing Hewitt, Jim Courier said this and compared it to John McEnroe’s also being more accepted by the American public AFTER his playing career. Sock has had a tough time with Aussies, he’s lost to Thompson and now Bolt. The Aussies know how to beat Sock. Sock won a title last year with Withrow, as we know Sock can win with any partner and Withrow is pretty good.

  • Chazz · January 15, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Scoop, some pretty harsh words for a lovable guy like Kyrgios. Why can’t a dude just have fun on the tennis court? Lol.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 15, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Chazz, at one time I agreed with you and felt let Nick just play the game the way he wants. But I have heard from first hand accounts of his tanking and the severe irritation of ticketbuyers saying they would never watch him again. I saw Kyrgios booed off the court for tanking and quitting a couple of times, the first was at Citi Open vs Sandgren. That is a terrible look for tennis, the worst thing that could happen to the sport and Nick’s tanking has to be condemned far worse than Sandgren’s tweets were condemned and attacked. Nick did it again in Atlanta, quitting with some kind of supposed injury but was seen playing basketball that same day. Unacceptable and unprofessional.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 15, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    What a first set and Fed survives from 5-3 down in the breaker! I told you Evans would be a handful but Rog came up with the goods when it mattered. What a champion!

    Gonna start watching Tiafoe v. Anderson, what a story it would be to pull this upset. McDonald and his roommate Fritz also locked in good ones.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 16, 2019 at 1:00 am

    Just a terrific Fed match, he served for the second set and double faulted and made mistakes and had to win another breaker. Evans gamely fighting with some quality tennis. Now it’s in the third.

    So hard to watch anything else when the maestro is performing like this. Enjoy these moments folks since we won’t be able to see such quality fairly soon!

  • Wayne Bradford · January 16, 2019 at 1:22 am

    These Federer Courier interviews are such a delight. Sometimes I go back and watch the old ones on YouTube.
    Courier really has a knack for engaging him with great questions and showcasing the personality we all love.

    So worth it to stay up late for this!

  • catherine · January 16, 2019 at 1:52 am

    Tiafoe bt Anderson. Big upset.

  • catherine · January 16, 2019 at 2:26 am

    No big names on the WTA casualty lists so far this morning – but Pavs bt Bertens and Birrell bt Donna Vekic, latter a slight surprise and removes Vekic from Kerber’s path. Angie, Kvitova, Sharpie yet to play.

    Kyrgios has a knee injury – he was swearing about it during his MTO. But I’m not saying that’s the reason he lost. I’d agree with McEnroe that Nick’s fitness isn’t the best. I doubt he trains much.

  • Doug Day · January 16, 2019 at 6:42 am

    The inscrutable Henri Lakssonen, my pick to win Sarasota Open pushes home fav Deminaur to the 5th. Coach Hewitt and young Alex are quite the emotional contrast

  • catherine · January 16, 2019 at 7:02 am

    Kvitova, Kerber go through in SS – Angie hit 6 aces v Haddad Maia and approached the net 5 times. A record surely πŸ™‚

    Petra in a hurry. Also wearing that throat throttling Nike top which can’t be comfortable in hot weather.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 16, 2019 at 9:14 am

    Hewitt shows calm and cool as a coach, I think he feels that’s what deMinaur needs to see during a high energy match. deMinaur is very mature and he has no trouble generating his own emotional adrenaline from himself and he gets a lot from the Aussie crowds so Hewitt intelligently sits back and uses the cool approach to balance deMinaur. Or maybe Hewitt is just too cool to show that kind of wild emotion while sitting in the crowd, he only can express emotional fire when on the court as a player or as a captain.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 16, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Evans is on fire since he hit that magic shot that Kyrgios and others called the best shot they’d ever seen. He’s a crafty dangerous player with nothing to lose and it’s not a surprise he pestered the maestro. Federer interviews are always a joy to watch and yes Courier does evoke Fed’s best. Actually everyone does, Federer is a natural born great interview. I still remember our Biofile at US Open in the locker room when he was 18 and playing qualies, we talked after his first round quali win, then he lost to Ivo Hueberger.

  • Chazz · January 16, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Foe and Fritz, those are my guys, I’ve been waiting for them to break through and so happy they won big matches.

    Seppi is peaking so Foe had better not look past him.

    Hoping for Fritz to pull off the massive upset against the Great One but expectations are pretty low.

    Khachanov is my dark horse to win the whole thing. The way he dismantled Nishioka really stood out to me yesterday.

    So many good 3R matchups coming up on men’s and women’s draws.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 16, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Keen an eye on the Polish 17 year old Iga Swiatek, she won her first major match 64 in the 15 vs Ana Bogdan 64 in the third and her reaction after match point was …absolutely nothing. No reaction at all. I’e seen more emotion during practice sets at the local park. This girl obviously expects to win majors and winning her first ever 1R match at a major at age 17 is just a a baby step for her. Keep an eye on this rising force who has her eyes on much bigger prizes than just the 1R win of a major, her first Grand Slam match and match win. I thought Andreescu faked the knee injury vs Osuigwe on the set point in the second set which she lost. Then she hung over her chair like she was dead and about to retire, then of course, she won the match in the third. Keep an eye on Andreescu and her injury fakery, she is a clever player.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 16, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Seppi will be tourble for Tiafoe, he seems to play his best tennis at AO. He’s a smart expereicned player, Tiafoe can do it though, he could be on fire now after slaying Anderdragonson. Federer will be sweating bullets about Fritz. I am impressed by Dimitrov, he looks like a man possessed and I like the Agassi support and showing some fire and passion in the box while Valverdu sits there like a zombie. Agassi really likes Dimitrov and he cares very much. Agassi is fully committed to making Dimitrov a champion, he’s all in and giving Super G all his secrets and tips and best advices. Gonna be interesting, he hit some magic shots vs Cuevas and won in a tough four. Liking a lot the fire Dimitrov is showing and the terminator businesslike seriousness. Machine like but fiery too when it’s right.

  • catherine · January 16, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Match of the Century – Sabalenka threw her headband into the crowd and two ladies of mature years fought over it.

    Result: headband was confiscated and ladies were escorted from the premises.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 16, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Must have been a pretty good cat fight for that head band. Better battle than Sharapova vs Dart.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 16, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    Scoop, come on. Fed worried about Fritz? Lions don’t concern themselves about sheep!

    In all seriousness, I am worried about the next round against Tsitsipas. He has plenty of Greek fans and our fans could be shouted out. The Fed contingent will have to be at its best for the Greek sensation.

    Sock wins with this Withrow, who I have never heard of over the No. 2 seeds. Sock may win another Slam. Him and Johnson should really become doubles specialists and actually with each other. They would be a force.

    How about Anisimova? I would imagine she is of Russian descent? Yet another rising star for U.S. women’s tennis.

    Nice to see Tiafoe and Fritz win. A strong career for Tiafoe would be huge since it would hopefully bring more African-Americans into the game and don’t think that that isn’t a priority for the USTA. I agree that he may lose to Seppi.

    Kyrgios also loses in doubles so his fortnight is over.

  • Louise · January 16, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Gotta have my say about hewitt.
    Hewitt was and still is the most passionate and hard working tennis player to come outof australia in decades.
    These young, tall aussies Tomic and Kyrgios have so much attitude, no real love for tennis (maybe just fame and fortune) and no desire to do the hard yards off and on the court. How much can hewitt drag them along before they weigh him down and he has to let them go? Their slack and lazy attitude is the opposite of Hewitt. Why waste his time with them when other hard working and respectful aussies are proud to represent their country and have so much respect for hewitt.
    Most aussies i know are happy tomic and kyrgios lost so we can stop talking about their antics and get behind some tennis loving and tenacious aussies like deminaur.
    Anyone think he can get a set from nadal?

  • Wayne Bradford · January 17, 2019 at 1:51 am

    Raonic proved me wrong with that victory. Quite a match. Stan may not get back to his champion form.

    Speaking of Stan, I was learning about Laaksonen who pushed DeMinaur last night to 5 sets. Laaksonen was born in Finland and plays for the Swiss. He and Stan had a conflict in Davis Cup and Stan ripped him, according to Wikipedia. I never knew this. Laaksonen plays a lot of Davis Cup. I am sure if Stan hates him Roger does too.
    But Stan inspires hatred from many players – Kyrgios, Tsonga, some other French guys. I think he is perceived as arrogant.

    This could be a T-P poll with the revelation by Svitolina that she is dating Monfils. Who is the best current tennis couple?

    A – Monfolina = Svitolina, Monfils
    B – Wawrinkic = Vekic, Stan
    C – Thiemenovic = Mladenovic, Thiem

    Louise, I think we in the States always look at Hewitt suspiciously because of that James Blake incident at the Open. He never really apologized for it and it was really shameful behavior by him. Of course, he is a great champion but methinks he is not the most trustworthy person on tour.

    I’ll have to record everything else and watch later. Vote for your favorite tennis couple!

  • catherine · January 17, 2019 at 2:03 am

    Wayne – I wouldn’t believe everything you read on Wikedpedia – I’ve found them recycling gossip a few times.

    If Svitolina’s not careful she could turn into the Martina Hingis de nos jours. But she won her round so maybe Monfils is imparting coaching tips.

    No big upsets so far – Halep and Kenin starting to play.

    Which is the current stream ? I’ll stick to this one.

  • Hartt · January 17, 2019 at 2:09 am

    Milos just won a tough match over Stan. It lasted over 4 hours and had 4 TBs.

  • catherine · January 17, 2019 at 2:22 am

    Madison Keys discusses her new coach Jim Madrigal. He hasn’t coached WTA before – something he shares with Kerber’s coach Rainer Schuettler. Is this a new trend ?

    Men’s coaches may have something new to offer.

  • catherine · January 17, 2019 at 2:24 am

    Very good win for Milos – he must be exhausted.

    Bianca lost I noticed.

  • catherine · January 17, 2019 at 4:20 am

    Halep takes 2 hrs 30 mins to struggle past Kenin. Sofia did well but Simona is not playing like a No 1. Is her back bothering her ? Can’t she cope without Cahill ? If she’s fit a new coach should be helicoptered in. Any coach.

    Svitolina confirms her new romance. Gael was in her players’ box.

  • Jayita · January 17, 2019 at 6:48 am

    Tough match for Halep. She powered through – kept her cool and focus in the 3rd set – total respect for that. She didn’t reveal at press anything about her back, merely saying “little bit injured in the 2nd set… It was difficult to stay in there for every ball and run so much. But I just fought cause I wanted to win”… On the flipside, I feel for Kenin at 4-2 up in the 3rd set, having battled so hard to win the 2nd set. Looks like she lost her rhythm somewhat, and let her emotions get the better of her. But I bank on Kenin getting some big wins in the future, definetely one to watch… Too bad Stan bowed out 2nd round.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 17, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Hewitt had nothing to apologize about, he felt theblack linesman was cheating him calling repeated phantom footfaults vs Blake and Hewitt, in the heat of battle, raised the issue to the chair umpire. he used no racial epithets he simply demanded the umpire keep an eye on the linesman to see if he was being cheated. Hewitt felt he was being victimized and stood up for himself. The better man won the match and the title – Hewitt. I always liked how Hewitt handled that possible corruption against him, in this world you don’t tolerate any nonsense, cheating, or BS from anyone and Hewitt stood up and took a stand against what he perceived to be corruption and cheating against him.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 17, 2019 at 8:09 am

    Andreescu took another long break to the bathroom, this girl is a natural born staller and drama creator, fun to watch!

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 17, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Massive win for Raonic, beating a champion, showing big fire, looks like Raonic will be major trouble for anyone. Very impressed by this winn by Raonic. Serena is Serena, more determined than ever. Bouchard has poor movement, too stiff legged, she’s not a great defender. But still despite this deficiency, she was a top ten player and major finalist. How about Hewitt revealing Tomic has made threates and blackmail attempts on him. Wow. Wonder what Tomic has on Hewitt to use to blackmail?

  • catherine · January 17, 2019 at 9:31 am

    Konta and Muguruza started at nearly 1 am. It’s insane.

    Why can’t the WTA do something about this totally unfair scheduling ? Why don’t the players complain ? Can you see Serena playing after midnight ?

    No sport that I know of subjects competitors to such conditions.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 17, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Catherine, it’s always gonna happen, late matches add up and you get those early morning yawners or thrillers. They should have moved it to another court.

  • Michael in UK · January 17, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Muguruza v Konta ended at 3:15 am
    I agree with Catherine, this seems wrong and stupid.

    Nearly 40 year old Dr Ivo took Nishikori to 5 sets, with 2 tie breaks and 2 other games going to 7/5. Just fantastic!

    Also on the men’s side, of the younger generation, still in the mix are Pouille, Shapo, Coric, Medvedev. And new to me, Aussie wild cards Alex Bolt (beat G Simon) and Popyrin (Thiem retired).

    Friday and Saturday are looking good. And temperature forecast is staying under 30 degrees C.



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