It is not true that it is an “improvement”: it has always been this way, since 2014. You blame him for rudeness, vulgarity and excesses. You love him, you hate him, you don’t understand him
London (England) 2022 – Wimbledon / photo Imago / Image Sport In the photo: Nick Kyrgios only Italy
In 2014, Nick Kyrgios was already Nick Kyrgios. A variant of the usual equation that insists tennis impales its newly exploding talents: If she gets X at age Y, we can expect it to be at age Z…net of fragile ligaments or psychotic vulnerabilities of course. It’s an instinctive extrapolation of the data that made the water on all sides with Kyrgios. In 2014 he was young and face to face. Or sting him by the drop, like a mosquito: a lethal administration, painful only when things are over. He served race cars indiscriminately at 230 an hour, or sudden stabs under the armpit (respect did not know what it was, and today the joke was erased from below thanks to him). He whipped his wrist the same cross-legged front hand that degrades an opponent, with just enough rotation to be called a “straight”. From today, in Medvedev demolished at the US Open, he finds out that the ‘optimized’ Kyrgios was simply distracted in the meantime, fascinated by Australian outbursts and clumsiness: Kyrgios has been that way for eight years. We write it now that he has yet to win the Grand Slam. He probably won’t even be able to do it in New York, but in the end it doesn’t matter.
If we really want to define his tennis, there’s a shot that represents him more than anything else. It happens when the ball dangles in the front hand, which is a little softer than usual, and higher. He rotates his shoulders and returns the racket to a full stretch. This results in a devastating flat strike. The path is not important: it does not matter whether it ends in the middle of the net or on the drapery. Most of the time, it falls at the intersection of lines at the speed of a photon, an appearance of four nanoseconds. All or nothing, that shot. It’s Nick Kyrgios in purity. It has always been there.
Kyrgios is a diverse group. The match with Medvedev gives a satisfactory summary:
Now go at a press conference And the mature guy (“I feel like I’m playing more than myself. I’m tired of letting people down. Now I want them to be proud of me”), Kyrgios plays countless intermissions. In an activity increasingly inclined to the well-known, the small, marketable, he embodies its opposite: Pure whimsy, infinite complexity.
Tennis is only part of its appeal. You can’t just love Nick Kyrgios. But, also, you can’t just hate her. Try it, lie to yourself. You blame him for rudeness, vulgarity, excesses, excesses and excesses. Then he shouts in the opponent’s face “Kockinakis hit your girlfriend” or condemns the spectators who, according to him, get drunk or take drugs in the stands which annoys him, and you return to the tunnel: You love him, you hate him. you do not understand. Meanwhile, he invaded you. He is a performance artist, like Marina Abramović.
Kyrgios is the bullied chubby teen who, according to an Australian charity, has been secretly calling kids with cancer for years when he was growing up. It’s the blunt Donna who harasss journalists by making them angry. Once he announced that he had a new coach, that just wasn’t true. Because? Dunno, it didn’t make sense. And in a culture where everything has to mean something – where we give weight to everything, to tweet, to glance – Perhaps the most subversive act is the worthless one. Leave the beauty naked.
In tennis then, a bubble-shaped miniature world in which most of its characters spit out vulgarity and challenge you to diagnose them, Kyrgios weakened everything instantly, almost carelessly: scars, skin, joy and resentment, frustration. and desire. And they don’t care what you do with it.