Nick Kyrgios is a professional tennis player who has had one of the most unorthodox careers of all time. From competing against the top 10 players in the world to on-court tantrums against players ranked outside the top 50, Kyrgios is constant, endless entertainment, and that is why we love to hate Nick Kyrgios.
This week at the Cincinnati Masters, Kyrgios entered the competition after a dominating championship victory at the Washington Open, only a couple of weeks earlier. Kyrgios had on his path to the final defeated multiple rising tennis stars, top 10 players and won the crowd through his spontaneous on-court tactics.
However, this week we have witnessed the other side to Kyrgios through verbal abuse on a chair umpire, smashing his tennis racquets on a supposed ‘toilet break’ and spitting in the direction of the umpire. This has resulted in a $US 113,000 fine by the ATP and possible suspension after a formal investigation has taken place.
No matter which Kyrgios enters into each tennis competition, the media loves him. He is so easy to hate. So easy to criticise. We say that we hate him and that he is a disgrace to Australian tennis and Australia sport, but still, he attracts more headlines than other Australian tennis or sports star, even Australia’s first number one ranked player in the world after an extended period of time, Ash Barty.
Kyrgios is the prime example of the sportsman that coaches and parents encourage their children not to be. Kyrgios consistently performs unsportsmanlike behaviour, is disrespectful to the referee, causes damage to property and is lazy in his preparation. He is the opposite of the Australian sporting spirit, never giving up and trying your best no matter what the odds against you are. Therefore, when Kyrgios fails and falls back into his negative ways, we love to hate him. We love to point out his flaws and outline why he should not be followed.
Kyrgios recent success in Washington against quality opponents and through the engagement of the crowd illustrates the monumental impact he can have on the game of tennis. He breaks the rules that people thought were rules, that weren’t actually rules, such as his spontaneous use of an ‘under-arm serve’ (who really knows why he does this?). He attracts crowds and is naturally gifted in the sport.
We love to hate Nick Kyrgios but maybe it’s time to let him be. He contributed his fluctuating career due to the high pressure placed upon him due to high success early in his career and due to his battling with mental health issues. Let’s leave Nick Kyrgios alone and allow him to develop as a person and a player, enjoying his successes and acknowledging that at times he won’t be perfect. Ultimately, Kyrgios is entertaining. He will continue to draw crowds of people to tennis and with careful guidance is still capable of enormous success in the sport of tennis.
Kyrgios has the potential for his career to flourish into the future, let’s act as a positive force in allowing that to happen, instead of rejoicing in his failures.