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Is Kyrgios’s behaviour all that terrible?

By Roger Allnutt - 2 November 2016 17

Tennis

Everyone seems to want to have a go at Nick Kyrgios.  For the past year any indiscretion on or off the court is greeted with howls of dismay and calls for bans or, as how now happened, recommendations that he take up some form of therapy before being allowed back on court.

His troubles began with some well documented outbursts on court.  His mood was not enhanced by the run in with Kitty Chiller, the controversial chef de mission at the Rio Olympics.  Australia is so desperate for another tennis champion that his every move is critically examined.  Sometimes I could forgive him; however as a tennis player I cannot condone his behaviour when he tanks during a match and doesn’t seem to try or care – very unprofessional.

It is interesting that those making some of the comments were not models of perfect behaviour in their prime; John McEnroe comes to mind.  Even the revered Roger Federer was wont to vent his spleen in his early career before he won the first of his many grand slams.  Top two players Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams have taken out their frustration when a match is not going as expected by throwing ‘tantrums’.

Professional tennis is a brutal sport.  It is probably the only top level sport where the singles player is totally ‘alone’ on the court.  Even golfers have caddies who can assist during a round when frustrations get the better of the player.

In addition the surfaces played on, especially the hardcourts, are incredibly tough on the player’s body.  The number of players who retire during matches due to some injury is remarkable. Personally, I think the tennis season is too long as more and more tournaments are added to the schedule.  Is it just greed like the current scheduling of Australian cricket.

Watching the recent Senate estimates hearings in Canberra I wondered whether Kyrgios’s behaviour is so bad after all. The performances of Senators Ian MacDonald and Barry O’Sullivan were boorish and offensive as they grilled a senior public servant – and this came after their antics against Gillian Triggs.  Together with what goes on in both houses of parliament under the guise of ‘debate’ it is no wonder many Australians are turned off the political scene.

Perhaps it should be remembered Kyrgios is only 21.

What’s Your opinion?


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17 Responses to
Is Kyrgios’s behaviour all that terrible?
Simmo 10:50 pm 04 Nov 16

Actually it is the tax-payers money- he was trained on an AIS scholarship, and I’d bet that he gets some funding to compete internationally, as do many elite athletes. His behaviour has been atrocious, rude and arrogant for years. Just ask most ACT tennis players who have had the displeasure of knowing/training with him.
The problem is that when representing Australia the world sees him acting like that and begin to think that all Australians are like that.

Acton 1:05 pm 04 Nov 16

If you have to ask the question ‘Is Kyrgios’s behaviour all that terrible?’, it shows a lack of understanding about what a true sportsperson is and should be. Consider this:

“2017 ACT Australian of the Year Alan Tongue, the former captain of the Canberra Raiders, has attributed his success as a youth educator and mentor to the example set by his parents and characteristics shared by all great rugby league players including selflessness, respectfulness, honesty, loyalty and a commitment to hard work.”
http://the-riotact.com/embrace-what-the-game-teaches-you-act-australian-of-the-year-alan-tongue/187841

So compare the characteristics of Alan Tongue: selflessness; respectfulness; honesty; loyalty and a commitment to hard work, with the antics of Nick Kyrgios:

1. Tanking:- deliberately failing to return numerous serves at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships and at the 2016 Shanghai Masters

2. Insulting competitors:- “Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend. Sorry to tell you that, mate”.

3. Arrogance and contempt of spectators: – “I don’t owe them anything. If you don’t like it, I didn’t ask you to come watch. Just leave.”

4. A preference, if not infatuation for Pokémon GO:- just Google kyrgios pokemon.

Everything Alan Tongue is, Kyrgios is not.

That is why your question has to be answered as an unqualified yes. Kyrgios could be a national hero, but is instead a national embarrassment. Whoever he plays, many tennis fans now hope the winner is the other person and that soon a player of whatever nationality comes along to thrash Krygios into cowed, mute obscurity. Or alternatively, and this is not impossible, he reinvents himself and his attitude to spectators, competitors and the game of tennis.

dungfungus 11:13 am 04 Nov 16

BunLover said :

What has Nick actually done that is so bad? He’s not funded by the taxpayer, so we’re not losing any money. Lleyton Hewitt was much more offensive 15 years ago and yet we’ve allowed him to grow up and (almost) learnt to love him.

When he is winning the local paper refers to him as “Canberra’s Nick Kyrgios”.
When he is shamed we all feel it with him.

pink little birdie 10:49 am 04 Nov 16

That scene from Happy Gilmore where Shooter McGavin is with the pro tour guy trying to get Happy kicked off the tour comes to mind.

BunLover 11:09 pm 03 Nov 16

What has Nick actually done that is so bad? He’s not funded by the taxpayer, so we’re not losing any money. Lleyton Hewitt was much more offensive 15 years ago and yet we’ve allowed him to grow up and (almost) learnt to love him.

davo101 4:09 pm 03 Nov 16

dungfungus said :

Has he has lost his marbles already?

No, they are safely stored away in the British Museum.

dungfungus 2:17 pm 03 Nov 16

justin heywood said :

Holden Caulfield said :

He may have Greek heritage, but calling it a tragedy if Nick wastes his talent is perhaps a little strong.

Ha!

Classical.

Has he has lost his marbles already?

1967 1:40 pm 03 Nov 16

Is Kyrgios’s behaviour all that terrible?

Yup.
Attention seeking tantrum thrower.

“Perhaps it should be remembered Kyrgios is only 21.”
Yeah, behaving like a 15 year old.

justin heywood 6:42 pm 02 Nov 16

Rollersk8r said :

The negative stories build up to a point where the public no longer has any interest in seeing you succeed.

Yes and that’s it. Part of watching sport is an admiration of the skills involved, but perhaps the biggest part is the human drama – to get excited, passionate enough to get up in the middle of the night, we have to WANT a certain individual or team to win.

Kyrgios himself doesn’t seem to even care much of the time. Why should we?

justin heywood 6:07 pm 02 Nov 16

Holden Caulfield said :

He may have Greek heritage, but calling it a tragedy if Nick wastes his talent is perhaps a little strong.

Ha!

Classical.

Rollersk8r 11:13 am 02 Nov 16

Commenting on his behaviour and attitude has been done to death. However, look at Bernard Tomic for context. Sure, he continues to make a good living out of the game – but absolutely nobody cares about him. The negative stories build up to a point where the public no longer has any interest in seeing you succeed.

dungfungus 10:45 am 02 Nov 16

avasiniorez said :

Its been well documented that sports- especially when playing for games can have an adverse mental effect on some due to the strain. Perhaps its something similar and as mentioned in the article, he is only 21. The age where you start to figure things out and suddenly everything seems to be a new perspective.

So, why do we allow people to drink and vote when they are only 18?

dungfungus 9:43 am 02 Nov 16

Holden Caulfield said :

Yes, his behaviour is all that bad.

Whether that can be excused because he’s only 21 is the debate. I don’t think it can.

If you’re a local tennis player you’re probably aware that many people in Canberra aren’t at all surprised by Nick’s on court behaviour and general demeanour. Apparently, he’s been this way since his junior days.

This line from the article sums up the commentary on Kyrgios pretty well: “Australia is so desperate for another tennis champion that his every move is critically examined.”

That probably says as much about us as it does about him. On a recent episode of The Offsiders one of the panelists said it would be a “tragedy” if Kyrgios didn’t reach his full potential. He may have Greek heritage, but calling it a tragedy if Nick wastes his talent is perhaps a little strong.

I am a huge fan of sport and love to see Aussies doing well on the world stage and, yes, watching Kyrgios achieve all he can would be incredibly entertaining and thrilling to see. But if he ends up being a cantankerous so and so who wastes his abilities, for whatever reason, he won’t be the first and he sure as hell won’t be the last.

As disappointing as that would be, it won’t be a tragedy.

Agree with all that but I have to add that there appears to be rulings against some players while others are exempted.

Not long ago Novak Jocavic (world #1) had a dummy spit and smashed his racquet to pieces in a very violent outburst. I don’t even think he got a warning from the court umpire.

If I were his partner I would be a bit wary of him at home.

avasiniorez 9:20 am 02 Nov 16

Its been well documented that sports- especially when playing for games can have an adverse mental effect on some due to the strain. Perhaps its something similar and as mentioned in the article, he is only 21. The age where you start to figure things out and suddenly everything seems to be a new perspective.

Holden Caulfield 8:53 am 02 Nov 16

Yes, his behaviour is all that bad.

Whether that can be excused because he’s only 21 is the debate. I don’t think it can.

If you’re a local tennis player you’re probably aware that many people in Canberra aren’t at all surprised by Nick’s on court behaviour and general demeanour. Apparently, he’s been this way since his junior days.

This line from the article sums up the commentary on Kyrgios pretty well: “Australia is so desperate for another tennis champion that his every move is critically examined.”

That probably says as much about us as it does about him. On a recent episode of The Offsiders one of the panelists said it would be a “tragedy” if Kyrgios didn’t reach his full potential. He may have Greek heritage, but calling it a tragedy if Nick wastes his talent is perhaps a little strong.

I am a huge fan of sport and love to see Aussies doing well on the world stage and, yes, watching Kyrgios achieve all he can would be incredibly entertaining and thrilling to see. But if he ends up being a cantankerous so and so who wastes his abilities, for whatever reason, he won’t be the first and he sure as hell won’t be the last.

As disappointing as that would be, it won’t be a tragedy.

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