. there’s one thing you’re guaranteed when Nick Kyrgios takes to the tennis court, it’s entertainment. The Australian is never one to shy away from the limelight, with his fast, hard-hitting brand of tennis accompanied by frequent bouts of rage and petulance. It’s always been said about Kyrgios that if he knuckled down and focused, he could become a Grand Slam champion.
Well, that very nearly came to pass. Kyrgios defied the odds at Wimbledon to reach the final, where the stubborn presence of Novak Djokovic denied him his maiden Grand Slam title. He played fantastic tennis throughout the tournament, quickly becoming fancied by those who bet online, and as the wins kept coming, it began to look like he had a real chance of winning the whole thing.
Djokovic’s superb performance put paid to Kyrgios’ dream of winning a Grand Slam. Still, the Australian showed the kind of consistent level of performance over the two weeks at Wimbledon that his talent merits. The question now is whether or not he can use his performances at SW19 as a platform on which to build.
Kyrgios has always been a player who divides opinion. Some find his antics too much to bear and feel that the aggression he demonstrates towards umpires, opponents, and spectators is a bad example for youngsters seeking to break into tennis.
On the other hand, some find his braggadocio entertaining and feel that players with flawed personalities will do more to drive interest in tennis than the dime-a-dozen, cookie-cutter players who are being churned out of the top-level tennis academies these days.
Either way, Kyrgios’ talent and ability when at the top of his game is unquestionable. He has one of the best serves in tennis history and is one of the game’s great shot-makers. The only issue has been an inability to bring his best form to the court consistently.
If anything, Kyrgios’ run at Wimbledon will have reminded the man himself that he has what it takes to do the business at the highest level, and often it’s felt like a lack of inner belief has held the Australian back.
The next test will be at the US Open, and it will be interesting to see how Kyrgios handles the fact that he will go to New York as one of the favorites for the title. With Djokovic likely absent due to his vaccination status, and Rafael Nadal’s injury woes rearing their ugly head again, Kyrgios could be one of the standout contenders at Flushing Meadows.
If there was one mitigating factor to Kyrgios’ run to the Wimbledon final, it was the fact that he received a walkover in the semi-final. Therefore didn’t have the opportunity to take on Nadal on Centre Court. However, given Nadal’s injury struggles, and the fact that Kyrgios has beaten him at Wimbledon before, it would have been no surprise to see the 27-year-old get the win.
We may one day look back on 2022 as the year that everything changed for Kyrgios. He has demonstrated that he can do great things in Grand Slams when he knuckles down and concentrates. Now is the time to start doing it consistently.
Featured Image by marijana1 from Pixabay