March 3, 2019
Ever imagined what Nick Kyrgios could do if he started to fulfil his potential?
We just caught more than a glimpse of his extraordinary ability at the Mexican Open.
And remember, for all his volatility, Kyrgios still hasn’t reached his 24th birthday.
He still has time to find the answers deep within hinself. Perhaps he has already begun to do so.
This is the guy who doesn’t take tennis seriously, right? Who bravely admits to mental health issues and has often let himself down – understandably so, you might argue, as he struggles to overcome those issues.
Nick Kyrgios. Massive box office, unpredictable and entertaining. But ultimately an underachiever. That’s been the Aussie star’s story so far.
Maybe, just maybe, not any more. Certainly not in the last week.
In Mexico he beat one big name after another to lift his first title for more than a year.
The final victim was Alexander Zverev, brushed aside 6-3, 6-4 in an awesome display of classy touch and breathtaking power.
Before that, three-set epic wins against Rafael Nadal, John Isner and Stan Wawrinka.
There was no easy way for Nick Kyrgios to win this title. He still did.
Rafael Nadal wasn’t amused when they met. Kyrgios wanted Nadal to hurry up between points. Don’t we all?
Nick dared to say so. Maybe not the done thing. But fair enough, you could argue, if your own rhythm is getting destroyed out there.
Then there was the attempted underarm serve. Well why not, if it is within the rules and your opponent stands so far behind the line?
And Kyrgios saved three match points in that classic. He never gave up. The crowd was against him. He lapped it up.
Nadal sees Kyrgios as disrespectful. Clearly Nick has been guilty of this in the past.
And Rafa has every right to express his opinion on Nick’s borderline behaviour as he sees it.
But if the anti-hero is becoming a real fighter and getting under people’s skin to reach a point whereby he can play his own glorious game, then good on him, as the Aussies say!
We want Nick Kyrgios to thrive, along with the other young stars, don’t we? Surely the changing of the guard demands this, sooner rather than later?
As a generous Zverev said after the final, Kyrgios deserved this title. ‘He beat three top ten players and Stan, who is a Grand Slam champion.’
Just like Wawrinka in his prime, Kyrgios is virtually unplayable on his day. He has everything.
Let’s not expect every day to be Nick’s day from now on. And let’s hope for more magic from Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, the three greatest of all time.
But let’s also hope 2019 can be a huge year for Kyrgios.
The year the Aussie Bad Boy wins his first Slam? Now that would be something to cheer, for those of us who love tennis and want to see the best players hit the heights as often as possible.
You know what? Tennis just got even more exciting!