What a racket, Nick!

You know that saying “with a hairstyle like that he has to be good”? No? It may be just us, but when we see a footballer with, say, a pineapple type hairstyle, that’s our mantra. It turns out we can also say “with an attitude like that he’d better be good”, and tennis player Nick Kyrgios should probably take that on board, and his family should probably keep quiet.Wahat

I don’t know if ‘sledging’ is an Australian tradition. (Sledging is ‘trash talking’, ‘banter’, whatever, it’s effectively being mean or rude to other human beings when you are supposed to be professional.) As a watcher of cricket, we only seem to have sledging when we are playing Australia but I could be wrong, the players aren’t MICed up, but I also first heard of sledging with regards to playing Australia at cricket.

It seems now though that this vile habit, possibly tradition, has seeped through to tennis, in particular alleged phenomenon Nick Kyrgios from Australia. Now, I don’t know the whole story, but it’s impossible TO know it. We don’t know what goes on in the locker room, the players aren’t MICed up, so I’m just going on reports and a tirade from Kyrgios that WAS caught on MIC. Regardless of history, locker room antics or missed provocations, what Kyrgios directed towards Stan Wawrinka was appalling. I’m not going to repeat it here, but I’m sure you can find it on the interweb with little effort. Not only was the fact that Kyrgios said it out loud appalling, he did it during a televised tennis tournament which picked up the outburst, making it impossible for Wawrinka to protect his girlfriend from knowing what Kyrgios had said about her. Even more appalling? It would have hurt Wawrinka’s girlfriend more than Wawrinka, why do that?! YOU PUBLICLY ABUSED A WOMAN, NICK. What was just as appalling is that some of Kyrgios’s family then reacted publicly, his mother (who really should know better) tweeted ‘a sledge for a sledge, don’t moan’, or something to that effect before allegedly deleting said tweet, and his brother was allegedly taken off air on an Australian radio station because he said awful things in connection with the incident.

Look. Frankly I DON’T WANT THIS SORT OF BEHAVIOUR IN TENNIS!! I don’t want it in any sport! It’s not the way grown ups should behave. Kyrgios seems to have forgotten the meaning of the word SPORT.

There are people saying to give Kyrgios a break, ‘because he’s young’, well; if he’s old enough to behave badly he’s old enough to take the criticism of his bad behaviour, and old enough to put up with the chorus of boos that rang out from the majority of spectators at his next match in Montreal. He’ll get a break though, because he can continue playing in a decent sport that isn’t usually brought down by the aforementioned behaviour. He may think he was injecting excitement into the game; well the game doesn’t need it.
The game needs to not have people behaving like idiots, and good, close, matches are all the excitement proper tennis fans need. Close matches, not 6-2 6-1 losses for example.

I believe Kyrgios is remorseful after the event and I’m happy to hear that. That at least shows maturity and there is hope. I was happy to see Kyrgios arrive on the scene, he plays the sort of tennis I love, but this incident on top of some dodgy behaviour at Wimbledon has made me want to switch his matches off. In future I’ll only watch Kygios if he’s playing Murray or Dready.

So Nick, if you’re interested, always try your best, and let your tennis speak for itself, then one day you might be a phenomenon. You might also be treasured by the tennis fans.

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What a racket, Nick!

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