Nick Kyrgios Is the Next John McEnroe, Sorta
The on-court antics of John McEnroe are stuff of tennis legend.
The bad boy of tennis waged war against referees who dared to disagree with him.
Decorum was as Old School as Wimbledon's white-dominant color code.
And with it came one of sport's immortal catch phrases:
Tennis has been in need of the next John McEnroe for some time now. Not since his retirement in 1992 has the game enjoyed a player who brings both a superb skillset as well as a larger-than-life on-court bravado.
Tennis may have found this man in the form of a 20-year-old Australian by the name of Nick Kyrgios. He's the dude in the foreground who delivers highlights like this:
Kyrgios burst onto the scene, ironically enough, at Wimbledon in 2014. The young Aussie upset his way into the quarterfinals before his was finally defeated.
His tourney highlight in that event came in the fourth round, when he defeated World No 1 Rafael Nadal in four sets:
Kyrgios skills were on full display last year, as he proved himself to be a star in the making.
In 2015, however, Kyrgios has put his personality on display. During the Australian Open, dude berated a fan for being on the phone, as well trash-talking a group of fans who were leaving the match early. It went over well. Fans in attendance were enthralled with the charisma that this young player brought to the game.
Just like McEnroe before him, Kyrgios has proven he's unafraid to take on officials.
At the Madrid Open, he cursed out a match official and asked that he be dismissed. Amidst the self-made furor, the Aussie was still able to overcome this distraction and prevai, where he beat the great Roger Federer.
Later, Federer praised Kyrgios for both his skills as a player and for the attitude he brings to the court.
Kyrgios has had a plethora of antics at Wimbledon. Other examples include swearing at officials, being warned about turning his headband inside out, and bouncing his racquet three rows into the crowd.
Kyrgios was so far able to channel his inner McEnroe, as he didn't let his personality prevent him from winning matches. That is, until his fourth-round meeting with Richard Gasquet.
Kyrgios, as usual, was upset with the officiating. He was given a code violation for making an “audible obscenity” during the match, and responded by giving up:
Up to then, Kyrgios' antics were fun to watch. But what he did here was inexcusable.
It's colorful to slam your racquet or even swear, but to simply stop trying is a disgrace to the sport.
This is where McEnroe and Kyrgios differ. As Ian Herbert of The Independent wrote:
|McEnroe’s strong competitive nature would have never have allowed him to tank a match. Sure, he may have thrown a temper tantrum, but John would have never thrown in the towel.|
If Kyrgios hopes to become as successful as the Original Bad Boy, he needs to set his priorities straight.
Getting mad is one thing, but a real competitor always tries his best to win every single match.
If he can’t do that, then he doesn’t deserve to be a professional athlete.