October 19, 2018
By Mark Ryan
Andy Murray and Nick Kyrgios always have fun together.
There was that hilarious video footage. The pair of them screaming and laughing on a roller-coaster in Cincinnati a few weeks back.
Then there was the recent Murray post on Instagram. Amusingly he asked Kyrgios when he was going to announce umpire Mohamed Lahyani as his new coach.
That was Andy’s witty take on the controversial pep talk that his younger friend received from Lahyan. The poor umpire had become desperate after some blatant big-match tanking from Nick.
But Kyrgios isn’t rushing to get a coach. The great John McEnroe hinted a few months back that he would like to do the job.
The American legend suggested he would fit the bill because they were both “wacky. ”
Kyrgios reacted dismissively.
‘He’s dreaming,’ Nick said, probably remembering all the times McEnroe has criticised his attitude.
But what if Kyrgios does realise deep down that he needs a coach? Who would he choose if he could?
Surely it would be Andy Murray.
And what an amazing roller-coaster ride they would have on the ATP tour. Part of the same team. At last.
That would make the thrills and spills of the Cincinnati big dipper look like a stroll in the park.
The chemistry they have already. Then the adrenalin-fuelled challenge of taking Kyrgios to the next, Slam-winning level.
The chance for Andy to turn Nick’s volatility into sheer, tennis-fizzing brilliance.
Nick Kyrgios doesn’t need anyone as wacky as Nick Kyrgios. He doesn’t need McEnroe. He needs someone calmer than himself. Calm but funny.
He needs someone relatively young. Someone he gets on with like a house on fire. Who makes him smile when he is about to explode.
Someone who helps him to enjoy this bizarre tennis life for what it is. Someone who will get the best out of him. Strengthen his mentality, sharpen his competitive edge, turn him into the very best of the new generation.
We all know who that perfect someone would be for Nick Kyrgios. It would be someone called Andy Murray.
Nick Kyrgios loves Andy Murray. It is the ultimate tennis bromance.
A love so strong that Kyrgios could barely bring himself to beat his friend at Queen’s earlier this year. He genuinely found the whole match emotionally difficult.
Kyrgios doesn’t want to be playing against one of his best friends. He wants to be with him. Same team.
They may even have discussed it. Then left the possibility on the back-burner.
And for now that fascinating hook-up must remain there. Something for the future.
Because Andy isn’t done as a player.
Murray is working very hard to get back to something like his best after a year out with hip trouble.
The fight goes on. And that battle could last another year or two.
Maybe Andy will make it back to his glorious former level. Nick Kyrgios will be willing his friend to succeed.
And it would be madness to write Andy off. The tennis world wrote Nadal off. We were wrong. The tennis world wrote Federer and Djokovic off. We were wrong again.
So let’s not write Murray off just yet.
He is a very determined character. His physical problems seem to have been even more chronic than those experienced by the Big Three. But Murray has what it takes to overcome all adversity.
It is not impossible that he could win another Grand Slam before time catches up with him.
But what if Andy breaks down physically again? What if, at the age of 31 and counting, he gets fed up with losing to the Fernando Verdascos of this world?
When Murray hits 33, Kyrgios will still only be 25. It would be a great time for them to get together as player and coach.
There are other obstacles to overcome before Murray would agree to coach Kyrgios. What about Andy’s family life? What about his precious time with Kim and the kids?
Well, he has seen how Roger Federer makes it all work on tour with his own family. They seem happy enough.
With the support of his family, why shouldn’t Andy take a similar path, at least for a while, to see how it works out?
Then there is a natural fear that both men would have. What if the coach-player dynamic broke down and completely ruined their friendship?
Well, Murray’s friendship with his own “left-field” coaching choice, Amelie Mauresmo, survived something less than professional success together.
Andy and Nick would just have to be big boys. Make sure the bromance wasn’t destroyed by work. If it wasn’t working, they’d know when to call it quits.
But the lingering suspicion is that it would work. Andy is nurturing younger talent in a variety of sporting fields. It’s his thing already.
The chance to nurture and bring to full fruition the greatest young talent in tennis – who just happens to be one of his biggest buddies too – would surely be too tempting to turn down.
So come on guys. With the new generation struggling to take over from the old generation, something spectacular needs to happen.
A partnership between Kyrgios and Murray would be great for the game. And spectacular in the extreme.
Maybe it is only a matter of time.