Kyrgios’ Perpetual Indignation: Is That What Stands Between Nick And A Grand Slam?

STARNBERG, July 29, 2020 (Guest post)

Not many individuals in the world of sport divide opinions as Nick Kyrgios does and certainly there are few as outspoken as the 25-year-old Australian. Whether it be on his Twitter or Instagram page, there’s always something that he has taken exception to and he’s never shy to let you know what it is.

Instead of internalizing it and confiding in those close to him, the 25-year-old reaches for his phone and often unleashes a tirade of abuse at whoever has been unfortunate enough to cross him. Most of the time, the perpetrators are unwitting of their transgressions.

Hell hath no fury like Nick Kyrgios scorned

Kyrgios’ lectures on how to behave are often filled with what are clearly intended to be humorous insults. Like the time he called tennis great Boris Becker a ‘doughnut’ or when he accused Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev of ‘partying like potatoes’. It’s almost like listening to a friend have a ramble on about the things that have got under their skin of late in that there is very little subtlety or restraint in what they are saying. In that way, Kyrgios is very relatable and some of the time he is actually quite right to be calling his colleagues out for ‘bonehead decisions’, but anyone doing that has to be sure to have a clean slate themselves: Kyrgios does not.

Kyrgios’ checkered past

In September last year, Kyrgios was slapped with a $25,000 fine and handed a 16-week suspension after verbally abusing an umpire and smashing two rackets on court. He actually committed eight different offenses that day. Indeed, looking back on his career, it’s possible to pull up other controversies that have been of his own making which gives you a real sense of how many times that he has found himself on the wrong side of the tennis law.
More often than not it’s his mouth that gets him into trouble but given his age, he is still more or less in a grace period where people are able to look past it and put it down to him being a bit of a young hothead who shoots from the hip. The point is though, loose cannons who are often unable to control what they say or do aren’t really in a position to can demand that others buck up their ideas.

One of Kyrgios’ appealing traits is that he is a wide-open book, he can be exceptionally congenial, especially to those who are keen to see sportsman drop their guards and behave less like media trained robots.

Once the indignation goes, the grand slams will flow

The problem is Kyrgios tends to take it to the extreme. The fear is that until he develops a more reliable filter, he won’t be able to achieve his true potential of winning a grand slam. Astonishingly, the Australian is at 66/1 to win the French Open in September which shows you how far off the pace some people think he is at this time, but that doesn’t really tell the whole story of what the tennis community may feel his chances are in Paris. Indeed, there will be a lot of people looking at those odds and licking their lips given how talented and capable of winning a grand slam he is.

In fact, many punters the world over will likely back Kyrgios to get it done at Roland Garros at those long odds. That now includes tennis lovers in America, as online betting in the USA is now legal in most states. Indeed, despite being relatively new, many people have taken to betting on tennis in the US and you can be sure Kyrgios’ French Open odds will attract many punters from the land of the free, a part of the world where his antics seem to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Kyrgios will have a lot of support going into the French Open: the 25-year-old Canberran is a world-class talent. Many feel he should have already won a grand slam by now and there is growing feeling that it could be any day now.

The player, however, will have to learn to keep his thoughts to himself if he is to do that. Despite only being on tour for seven years, the Australian has managed to alienate himself after pouring scorn on the activities of his fellow competitors both on and off the court. His hypocrisy isn’t endearing himself to other players, fans, or sponsors and that makes his task of getting to the top that much harder.