Tennis Prose



Is Kyrgios ready to roar or flop?



Nick Kyrgios is 22 now and ranked 20 in the world. The tennis world has been waiting for the ultra-talented Aussie to explode like Safin at a major tournament but it has yet to happen outside of the big win at Wimbledon a few years ago vs Nadal.

Since then we have seen countless flashes of the Kyrgios genius. As recently as Miami we saw Kyrgios extend Roger Federer all the way to a 67 76 67 epic semifinal battle. The following week Nick knocked out the USA from Davis Cup by crunching Isner and Querrey in six straight sets in Australia.

But since then Super Nick has been mediocre by his standards. He beat Harrison and Baghdatis but then was smoked by Nadal in the Madrid quarterfinal 6361. Then came a first match loss to Nick Kicker in Lyon and a second round dispatching by Kevin Anderson in four sets at Roland Garros. Then at Queens Nick retired in hi first match with a leg injury after losing a first set tiebreaker to Donald Young.

Since Key Biscayne it’s been sloppy, substandard results by the every unpredictable Kyrgios.

Has the charismatic showman been saving his best for Wimbledon? Or is the sensitive superstar throwing it all away, quite content with his role as an ATP sideshow, and just not ready to play the exhausting role of elite champion/ambassador/politically correct symbol.

Kyrgios has boasted on Twitter that he is not a puppet. But we all know to be an ATP elite champion, a player has to become in a sense a sort of puppet for the ATP, who says all the right words and does all the proper actions 24/7.

A renegade like Marcelo Rios would not survive in today’s politically correct culture. Heck, even a young Andre Agassi would struggle with keeping himself from igniting media firestorms with his words and actions.

Therein lies the intrigue of Nick Kyrgios. Will he continue to flame out on a path to underachieving results like a second round loss to Kevin Anderson? Or will he get his act and his mind together and finally explode like a volcano with a Marat Safin like breakout?

And what will it take to light such a fire under Kyrgios? Thiem and Zverev have passed him by but in Nick’s head he has to believe he’s equal if not better than those two. In his one match vs Thiem, Nick retired at 43 two years ago in Nice. Nick is 2-0 this year and career head to head vs the no 12 Zverev.

Will their success spark Kyrgios? Or would even the Jelena Ostapenko shock in Paris do the trick? Or will Nick follow the path of Bernard Tomic and waste his precious gifts?

The pressure is on Nick at Wimbledon which will reveal quite a bit about the future of this most compelling Australian wonder who says he is only at 65 percent health with his ailing hip. But of course that could be a clever smokescreen to reduce expectations and pressure.



  • Dan Markowitz · July 4, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Dan Markowitz writes:

    Moxie, Fair enough. I'll watch Nadal more carefully, but regarding Venus, she did kill someone in a car accident. Witnesses said she went through a red light. This happened July 9th, enough time to get over it or let the process proceed, perhaps? but I'm just saying, I don't think she should play pro tennis until this matter is resolved. I know that sounds harsh and it's very unfortunate, but that's the way I feel.

  • catherine · July 4, 2017 at 5:48 am

    catherine writes:

    If Kerber loses to Falconi today I believe she will be only the 2nd women's top seed to lose in her first match at Wimbledon. And Angie would be following in the footsteps of another German – Steffi Graf, who lost to Lori McNeil in 1994.

  • catherine · July 4, 2017 at 5:51 am

    catherine writes:

    Correction – Steffi was the first defending champion to lose in the first round.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 4, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Please specify if you're discussing Venus Williams or Michael Venus the 2017 Roland Garros doubles champion. Thank you 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 4, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    If Kokkinakis wins this battle with Delpo, all the sudden it might be safe to say Kokkinakis is the top Aussie singles force. With Kyrgios and Tomic looking so unsteady at the moment. Could the sudden rise of Kokkinakis spark Kyrgios? Hope so.

  • Andrew Miller · July 4, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Scoop, Aussie men losing. Tomic Kokkinakis and Kyrgios are all OUT of the tournament. A terrible showing for a country that apparently was "back" in the game. All the understudies like Thompson also finding exits. A poor showing for the Australian men.

  • britbox · July 4, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Yeah, pretty bad return for Team Australia on the face of it, although I think there are more positives to look at with Kokkanakis than negatives. Kyrgios getting flak but clearly injured coming in. Tomic's having a terrible year to date, don't really expect too much from this show pony going forward.

  • Andrew Miller · July 4, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Andrew Miller writes:

    Australia's women are more consistent. Hewitt's retirement, their men's players have really sunk and progress is on the wta tour. Players follow the model of Stosur and Molik, who progressed at mid age for tennis, see Barty and Gavrilova.

  • catherine · July 4, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    catherine writes:

    Barty 'mid-age' ? She's 21.

  • MargaretMcAleer · July 4, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    No Aussie men in the 2nd rd of Wimbledon,last time this occurred was 2012.
    Goodness me Lopez just retired.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 4, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Yes it is a disastrous effort by Australia but they are still alive in Davis Cup. Suddenly Australia is looking very weak and you have to point a finger at Hewitt and wonder if he's pushing too hard. It's got to be annoying for the Aussies to have Hewitt constantly hovering around. It appears Tomic totally has blanked Hewitt though they were together at US Open last year. Hewitt has got to be pulling his hairs out with all the talent he has to work with they are all underachieving in one way or another. It seems current outside top ten players just don't respond well to legends.

  • Moxie · July 4, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Another way to say it is that someone died in a car accident she was involved in. They are called "accidents" for a reason. We don't know the details, so it's unfair to convict her in the court of public opinion. I also think it's unfair to judge her choice to continue working. In the face of tragedy, many people find comfort in work.

  • Ricardo · July 5, 2017 at 10:17 am

    you are just grossly unfair as shown above, always willing to twist and say anything for someone you support. maybe that's your nature, but you should be mortified for calling others 'unfair'.

  • Carol · July 7, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Kyrgios meanwhile is having fun…..

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