Despite His Heated Rant, Nick Kyrgios Is Still One To Watch At Wimbledon - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Despite His Heated Rant, Nick Kyrgios Is Still One To Watch At Wimbledon

The man is box office tennis.

Wherever you stand with Nick Kyrgios, there’s no denying that the man is entertaining. On the grand stage that is Wimbledon, a tournament that has often been associated with crisp whites, Hollywood A-listers, and decorum exhibited from those both on court and in the stands, the Aussie tennis star marches to his own drum. He doesn’t care for tradition or history, he only cares about being authentic and true to himself and when it comes to his tennis, that involves fiery disputes, rants, and giving it to fans as much as he gets back. 

After a five-month layoff, Kyrgios returned to the tennis world with a first-round Wimbledon encounter with Frenchman, Ugo Humbert. But in typical Kyrgios fashion, things were far from smooth sailing and the match ultimately had to be suspended at two sets apiece five minutes before 11pm local time due to a London curfew. 

The pair were locked at 3-all in the deciding set when officials called time out. For the players to have to return and enter that mindset straight off the bat seems a decidedly challenging task and you have to wonder if it’s merely a mental battle now, rather than physical. 

Still, even before the curfew was called, Kyrgios was picking fault at anything he could. The grass copped a serious amount of heat from the tennis star, who went on a rant exclaiming: “Guys, for you watching at home, it should be fast in here. It should be fast, that’s grass court tennis.” He continued to mutter, “They’ve made it slow. This isn’t grass anymore. This is slow. Slow. Try watering it. Make it a grass court again, thanks.”

But as much as Kyrgios wears his heart on his sleeve out there on the court, he’s never one to give up without a fight. Despite berating himself at the changeover of the fourth set, Kyrgios staged an epic comeback, responding with three aces and another unreturnable serve. He ended up breaking Humbert in the fourth game, then again in the sixth to draw level at two sets all. But just as the Aussie was picking up momentum and looking strong, officials brought the game to a halt, disrupting the game at 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 3-3. 

Currently ranked 61 in the world, Kyrgios hasn’t played since the Australian Open in February. Even so, he claimed he could beat anyone at Wimbledon even with his limited preparation. “I definitely feel I could beat 50 per cent of the draw on grass without much preparation,” he said. “I know for a fact that nobody here wanted to play me first round. I feel confident going into this match.”

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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