Tennis Identity

Kyrgios tennis identity or legend in the making?


Nick Kyrgios’ decidely rude comment to Stan Wawrinka earlier this summer set an already electric personality afire. Add his ‘behavior’ in his recent US Open match vs. Andy Murray and the man is a raging blaze of controversy. Is he a legend in the making?

‘Bad boys’ grow up. McEnroe and Jimmy Connors were absolutely shocking in their time. People say that it was even a little embarrassing to watch them – it was THAT raw.

We have a few clips from those matches but most behavior went unrecorded or wasn’t distributed. It was bad – screaming at umps, climbing fences, smashing racquets and water coolers, swearing, yelling at opponents; it, as they say today, got very real – and fans loved it.  Without social media however, antics became anecdotes and over time the bratty, braggadocios boys grew up, got themselves under control and became legends.

Kyrgios is not completely unlike McEnroe and Connors – with striking looks, mohawk, cocksure stride and a profound love for the camera, he grabs eyeballs like a magnet.  I don’t know Nick but guess that the 20 year old talent feels trapped in a structured world that many young players say is tough to bear.

If Kyrgios hadn’t lost to Murray I’d bet you big money that the number of viewers tuned to his next match would have been double or triple. No he’s not a role model, neither was McEnroe, but he is a talent that needs to get a hold of his emotions and channel his energies into playing high level tennis.

“…[Kyrgios’] ability to play points is unbelievable….but doing that for a game or two isn’t going to win you a match. …Hopefully a coach or his or mentor can get to him and keep him applying all the way through a match.” – Rod Laver

If Kyrgios wants to be, he could be a force, maybe even a legend.

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P.S. – Since when is putting your head back on a chair stranger than covering your head with a towel?