By RIYA SINGH
Asking anyone who is even slightly in touch with tennis about Nick Kyrgios will most likely lead to statements similar to the one published by The Washington Post on April 16th saying that he is “as widely known for his temper tantrums as his tennis skills.” This statement came days after one of his meltdowns where he erupted in a “profane tirade” against Norway’s Casper Ruud at the Italian Open in Rome.
He had split the first two sets and was broken in the third where it was tied 1-1, at which point something, or maybe someone, set Kyrgios off. He dropped multiple f-bombs and was called for a code violation of unsportsmanlike conduct. Already having received a violation from the previous sets, he lost a game, only setting him off further. This is not surprising behavior for Kyrgios. In fact, many of the fans who bought tickets to watch him probably bought tickets in hopes of witnessing another of his meltdowns.
Watching a Kyrgios match is half about watching the tennis and half about watching his mental breakdowns. It wasn’t clear if he defaulted or retired, but from this incident, it is reported he will lose $33,635 in prize money from the tournament and 45 ATP points with further punishment pending. As stated earlier, this behavior isn’t out of character for Kyrgios. In March, he got into an argument with a fan who was heckling him at the Miami Open. In 2016, he faced an eight week suspension by the ATP Tour for his absence of effort in a match and insulting of numerous fans at the Shanghai Masters. In 2015 he was fined $12,500 and suspended for 28 days for making lewd comments towards Wawrinka about his girlfriend during a match in Montreal.
Among his colleagues, the best tennis players in the world, he doesn’t have very many fans. This alienation may have something to do with his insulting Novak Djokovic, the world number 1 for his “cringeworthy” celebrations, or accusing Rafael Nadal of having a “super salty” attitude, among the various other players he has offended. His feud with Nadal is very well documented. Kyrgios frequently goes on podcasts and responds to comments about his immaturity on and off the court. Some people believe these acts are for attention, but others believe that Kyrgios’s love for the game just doesn’t exist anymore. One thing is for certain: if you’re looking for a drama filled tennis match that may leave you in shock, Kyrgios is the one to watch.