During the reign of players like Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic, the professional and physical side of tennis gained a doubled importance and worked as an instruction guide for the new generation tennis players, but there is one player that came to break all those rules: Nick Kyrgios.
Nick Kyrgios – A methodical and professional tennis player…
The way Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic player challenged the hegemony of Roger Federer on the ATP circuit made a new trend appear in men’s tennis, more focused on the physical and professional component of the sport.
In fact, these two players – and also Andy Murray during some periods – made Roger Federer’s task increasingly more difficult, taking into consideration their more versatile and unpredictable playstyle.
When you are up against true “walls” on the opposing side of the court, you always need to risk more in very shot and that, sometimes, results on a high number of errors that become fatal.
Well, this dominance of the stronger tennis players, both physically and psychologically, has been motivating the younger generations to look for a similar preparation to the one of their idols.
However, the results of players like Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev or Borna Coric continue to be inconsistent according to the demand patterns of a Nadal or Djokovic.
…And the man that came to challenge him
But when tennis at the highest level was giving some signs of boredom due to the fact that players are more and more attuned and not very expansive in terms of their opinions or feelings prior, during and after the matches, here’s that appears an Australian with Greek lineage to shake up the foundations of modern tennis.
From problems with umpires, spectators or even opposing players, Nick has been a true flurry on the ATP circuit, but he also has some people that like him and his attitude that is very different from the current reality in the world of tennis.
Seeing a player utilize an underarm serve and getting an ace against Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon is something almost unimaginable, that for some might be seen as an act of courage, but for others is considered a clear lack of respect for one of the best tennis players of all time.
Rafa Nadal has already said that Kyrgis has talent and potential to be one of the best players in the world, but he needs to be more disciplined in order to do that.
Will that be the case, or can the Australian benefit from the way he gets into the heads of their opponents in some matches?
The way the Australian recently won the ATP Washington 500 was particularly indicative of precisely that.
Throughout the tournament, Kyrgios delighted the fans by interacting with them in crucial moments of his matches, resorting to some “tweeners” and incredible volleys and he still had time to offer a pair of shoes to one of the few friends he has in the circuit, Stefanos Tsitsipas, during the semi-finals of the competition.
Is it possible to control the lack of discipline?
The life of a coach of a player with these characteristics should be a true chaos, especially when Kyrgios’ stunts in the court don’t have the desired effect, and it is surely an enormous task to discipline a player like this.
When Kyrgios appeared on the main circuit, a lot of people were expecting a brilliant future, but the constant losses of focus and discipline kept costing him, resulting on a successive postpone of his assertion on the circuit.
Right now, he seems to be a player more tailored for fast surfaces and grass, but he will have to make an effort to be equally competent on other surfaces otherwise he might never secure his spot in the top 10 consistently.
Eyeing the US Open
This week, the tournaments of preparation for the US Open continue, with the ATP Masters 1000 in Montreal being the centre of attentions, despite the absences of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
Nick Kyrgios is motivated after the title conquered last week, and he is facing Kyle Edmund in the 1st round of the tournament, with another duel against Daniil Medvedev in perspective on the 2nd round – Kyrgios has beaten Medvedev on the final of the ATP Washington.
The surface in Montreal doesn’t tend to be as fast as the one in Washington and that can hurt the quick style of Kyrgios. However, I believe that a lot will come down to his mental state in this encounter.
Will he go in with the intention of making another successful campaign in consecutive weeks, or will he “thwart” the match in order to rest so that he maintains his physical health before the US Open?
With Nick Kyrgios we really have to wait and see…