Is Nick Kyrgios Good for Tennis?
Nick Kyrgios is no stranger to making a headline or two. Whether it be for his on and off court antics, or his performances, someone always has something to say about the 24-year-old Aussie.
Kyrgios burst onto the scene in 2014 with his infamous Wimbledon win over Rafael Nadal. His use of ‘tweeners’, showboating and racket abuse against the world number one was viewed by many as disrespectful, and instantly gained him some haters. Bad mouthing other professionals, ranting at umpires and ‘tanking’ during matches are also but a few reasons why many take against him.
However, with tennis failing to tap into the younger generation and struggling to maintain talented juniors, are players like Kyrgios helping the sport grow more than hindering it?
Since Kyrgios has emerged on the tour, he has put tennis in the spotlight and steered the sport into having a bigger presence on social media; an absolute necessity for connecting with the younger generation. While tennis is also appreciated for being a gentleman’s sport, especially by those from the older generation, Kyrgios has helped modernised it by presenting a tougher side to the sport through his extroverted character.
Kyrgios doesn’t just draw attention to himself on court, but off court with many of his comments. In this year’s 2020 Australian Open, Kyrgios imitated Nadal’s service motion and while this received laughs from the crowd and even the chair umpire, Jaume Campistol, Kyrgios’ argument remained serious – if he also had a long service routine, would he be allowed additional time between points? The ATP tour can be so brutal that some pros almost turn into robots, blandly following PR and adhering to authoritarian demands. Kyrgios makes for quite a refreshing watch by challenging the status quo.
With the ‘Big 3’ each approaching the latter stages of their careers, a tennis fan could be forgiven for worrying about the state tennis will be left in afterwards. This is not to say the next gen aren’t promising, but rather it is unlikely we will witness an era which has been dominated by three completely different characters. Federer and Nadal have almost become brands within tennis, meaning they can engage non tennis fans easily enough. Although the next gen does look promising in their talent, it will be a difficult feat to fill the shoes of current superstars. Tennis will need to remain attracting new viewers in order to grow, and Kyrgios has undoubtedly been pathing a path for this.
Although Kyrgios may divide opinion on whether he is good for tennis or not, something which cannot be argued with is the increase of eyes he gets on the sport – something any tennis fan should be pleased with.
Ultimately the way I see it is, I like Kyrgios, but I love the sport more. With this in mind, I wouldn’t be heartbroken if Kyrgios does not win a Grand Slam, because I believe he is contributing to a greater cause; helping grow tennis.
This article was written by James Ashoo. Find out more about him on his website here.
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What’s your opinion on Nick Kyrgios? Is he good for tennis? Have your say in the comments below.
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