Tennis Prose



The Kyrgios vs Wawrinka Feud in Montreal


Major controversy in Montreal last night as the clash between Stan Wawrinka and Nick Kyrgios evolved into a personal grudge match.

Emotions and intensity were unusually high from the get go, with both players showing they meant business. The formerly combustible Lleyton Hewitt factored into the atmosphere as he’s now the new coach/mentor for Kyrgios and the former world number one was seated in the front row of the Kyrgios box.

Wawrinka won the first set tiebreak, then Kyrgios won the second. Kyrgios continued to roll with the momentum with a 4-0 lead in the third when Wawrinka retired with a back injury.

But Kyrgios rocked the normally placid tennis world into a maelstrom of controversy when he made an on court comment that Wawrinka’s present girlfriend (Donna Vekic) had slept with fellow Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis.

All hell broke loose, as Wawrinka confronted Kyrgios in the locker room after the match and severely criticized Kyrgios at his press conference, requesting the ATP punish or fine the controversial 20 year old for his personal, distasteful, and unsportsmanlike comments.

This unique situation calls to mind the NHL episode in 2008 when Sean Avery of the Dallas Stars made this media comment to the assembled press: “I just want to comment on how it’s become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don’t know what that’s about, but enjoy the game tonight.” Avery was noting that his former girlfriends Elisha Cuthbert and Rachel Hunter were presently dating other NHL players. Avery was suspended for six games by the NHL which said the comments were “conduct detrimental to the league or the game of hockey.” Avery was also ordered to take anger management counseling and was released from the Stars. He later played with the New York Rangers.

Kyrgios may suffer a similar punishment as Avery, perhaps it will be more severe.

But I wonder if it’s really a big deal. Personal comments come out in the heat of battle. Consider what Muhammad Ali said about many of his opponents, about how ugly and stupid they were, etc., verbal warfare is a part of one on one sports. Heck, even the mild mannered Mirka Federer got down and dirty when she reportedly called Wawrinka a “crybaby” in London last year. Why wasn’t she fined or punished? Who is to judge if Mirka’s insult of Stan was any more or less unsportsmanlike than what Kyrgios said last night?

It all brings to mind a quotation made by Phil Anselmo, the leader of the music groups Pantera and Down: “To be the best in the world at anything, you have to get blood on your hands.”

Nick Kyrgios wants to be the best. And in these tough times in tennis with so many gargantuan giants ahead of him, Nick has a lot of work ahead of him if he’s to accomplish his quest. He beat Wawrinka last night in Montreal and took another big step towards tennis greatness. However, like his controversial predecessors Jimmy Connors, Marcelo Rios, John McEnroe and Ilie Nastase, Nick’s character and reputation have endured another substantial hit and there surely will be consequences to deal with.

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  • Dan Markowitz · August 13, 2015 at 8:50 am

    I believe the exact words were: “Kokkanaikis banged your girlfriend.”

    Look Wawrinka is a baby. It was a lewd comment to make, but heck, if Wawa is squiring 19 year old’s around, all is fair in love and war. I’m kind of stunned Wawa went down so meekly. The first set breaker was a real good one and the second set was tight, too. Wawa better get his game together and stop embarrassing himself by dropping out of matches in 3rd sets.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Yes those were the exact words Dan. Compared to Mac, Jimbo, Rios, Nasty, this is mild stuff. Media are making a mountain out of a molehill. Still, this kind of controversy is fantastic for tennis because as we know controversy sells. The next time these two play, one thing is for sure, a LOT of people will be watching. And tennis hasn’t had that kind of grudge match since…. well I can’t even remember. I like the direction Kyrgios is taking tennis, the sport needs a controversial colorful villain type and Nick is filling that role to perfection.

  • Harold · August 13, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Think Kyrgios cares more about the outside BS than winning Majors. You walk on court with 3 different colored hair, seems like your priorities are not in the right place. None of these youngsters are winning Majors until they drag the top guys off the tour. Theyre mentally weak, make too much money too soon and dont get better, too much Social media distractions.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Dennis Rodman had some very weird and colorful hair but he sure as heck had a drive to win. The controversy of last night is overshadowing the fact that Kyrgios actually kicked Stan’s butt last night, that’s one helluva win for Nick. The manner in which he did it wasn’t very pleasant or nice but a W is a W and last night’s performance was superb.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2015 at 9:54 am

    I think for Nick to go on court with that yellow and pink hair takes a lot of cojones. He’s backing it up with some sensational tennis. Absolutely massive win last night for Nick.

  • jg · August 13, 2015 at 10:06 am

    What about a Wawrinka Kokanakis match!

  • Dan markowitz · August 13, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Again I disagree with Harold. Kyrgios was controlling the rallies against Wawa. As Djoko found out, that’s not easy to do. TC announcers said Kyrgios is the only player sinc Mac and Rios who channels anger into peak performance. The Aussie might be his own sideshow, but he’ll win a slam in 2016.

    A lot of surprising results yesterday: DY beating Berdy, Tomic beating Cilic, but how about Youzhny beating Simon? I thought Youzhny was done.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2015 at 10:32 am

    The performance of Nick Nasty last night was marvelous. To manhandle Stan is no easy doing. Interesting to say that Rios channeled anger into peak performance, who said that? Boy am I taking a lot of heat on twitter for defending Nick, even BG took a couple of shots, saying I’m on yellow card warning for the day. 🙂

  • Harold · August 13, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Can he freakin win a big tournament before he is anointed as the next great thing? Rodman played a team sport, bad comparison.
    Until he closes out a Masters, or gets to semis of a Major, he is still in the same bunch of underachievers( at this time)

    Waiting for the Sock, DY predictions to win a Major after their wins yesterday

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Cmon Harry, Nick is just 20, he already has scored spectacular wins over Fed, Rafa and now Stan. He’s on track. Agree with Dan, Nick will win majors and his first is coming soon. I think it’s even more bold and daring for Nick to be such a colorful figure with the fancy hairdo in a one on one sport, it’s a lot easier to act like a hot shot for a team sport when you have a great supporting cast like Rodman did. Nick’s got no shortage of cojones, he talks the talk and he walks the walk.

  • Harold · August 13, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Maybe the Stanimal is getting a rep, that if you get into his head, he is going to crumble.

    If Rodman stepped out of line once on the Bulls, Jordan would have had his bags packed, and tossed from the Bulls plane, which was probably called Air Jordan

  • Moskova Moskova · August 13, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    “nick nasty” is special..

    hair and comment was a bit much but i sense grand slams in his career..

    definitely should have more grudge matches in tennis….so much more entertainig and real…too contained now by the corporates..

    i would love to see fed, nadal, djoko tell each other what they are really thinking….would be sensational stuff !

  • Moskova Moskova · August 13, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    fed’s gotta hate that nadal and that djoko deep down…HATE !!

  • Moskova Moskova · August 13, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    wishful thinking but hybrid WWE / ATP combo would be outrageous…..fed always said the rock was his favorite ! haha

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Good point Harry, about Stan getting unraveled by extracurricular antics on the court. Mirka may have revealed the blueprint.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Noskova, nobody can hate Rafa, he’s a nice guy with a sense of innocence, but you have to wonder if Fed channels his resentment on Djokovic for taking his throne.

  • Moskova Moskova · August 13, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    yes to an extent rafa is amiable however fed receiving all of those beat downs, esp. on clay…plus his GOAT designation is questioned because of nadal……so on that basis – i could sense that fed hates nadal deep down..

  • Rob Campbell · August 13, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Um……hey all male readership of tennis-prose, how about this – what does it say how this sport (one which i play and love) where the focus continues to be on Stan’s hurt feelings or if Nasty Nick is our new villain. Where is the ‘sorry mate’ for Donna Vekic? Great idea for a new book boys – ‘Facing Sexist douche bags’, thoughts?

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Rob, I don’t see why Donna Vekic should have hurt feelings, she’s a big girl now, she did nothing wrong, she can do whatever she wants with her body. Freedom of choice. A brief love affair with a gent like Kokkinakis is par for the course for a young attractive charming woman like Vekic. No reason for any concerns for Vekic, I’m sure she will be okay when all is said and done.

  • ATP Insider · August 13, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    I agree, Scoop…BUT once Vekic starts to have an affair with a married man (at 18 lets not forget) all sympathy goes out the window, right??? It tells us a lot about Donna. Stan talking about “integrity” and “Would n’t do that to my worst enemy” quotes are laughable.
    Hey, but its OK to bang an 18yr old whilst your wife and kid are at home! Its all backfired on both of them!!! You play with fire…..

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 14, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Very good point ATPInsider about Stan’s hypocrisy. Also, I was told by other ATP insiders the affair with Vekic was not the first outside the marriage. Will leave it at that. There are no secrets in tennis. Overall, it’s laughable also that Kyrgios is getting fined for one mumbled sentence, while Serena was blasting F bombs at French Open and Wimbledon and officials completely ignored it. Talk about double standards.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 14, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Serena was yelling obscene F bombs at the Wimbledon final – no warning, no fines. Yet look at how they are vilifying Kyrgios now for mumbling an insult after Stan tried to hit him in the head with a shot at the net. The double standards are exasperating.

  • Rob Campbell · August 14, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Guys, you all have valid points. Stan didn’t exactly endear himself with his handling of the thing. My point in bringing up the girl is this. When Kyrgios starts talking about ‘banging’, he is suggesting a certain objectification of women. Am I being too sensitive? Not sure. She and Kokk paired together for a mixed doub and no doubt new each other and all that. None of that matters. It was Kyrgios’ phrasing that bothered me.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 14, 2015 at 9:29 am

    I’m not bothered by the wording, Rob, he could have used a more derogatory term. Bang is normal common talk for young people. Let me ask you this: Does a woman objectify herself when she chooses her outfit and makeup and perfume to make herself look attractive, in he morning?

  • Moskova Moskova · August 14, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Rob, are you a female, btw ?

    IMO, the objectification of women wasnt the point nor implied by “nick nasty”….however i do agree that “banged” wasnt appropriate at all but better than “f**ked” to be uttered during a heated tennis match..



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