With all the bad press surrounding Nick for quite some time now, he has answered his critics with a decent win in Washington last week. Wins over Kwiatkowski, Simon, Nishioka, Gombos, Tsitsipas and Medvedev saw him claim his first title since Acapulco earlier in the year. You would have thought it had been his first win since 2015 the way people go on, but Nick hasn’t always helped himself there. The serve and the fact that he seemed completely at home in Washington D.C were the common denominators for me last week. He was talking up Washington on Instagram before the event and built up a good rapport with the tournament and crowd. We know that when he finds that effortless rhythm on the serve you won’t be getting many chances on the return.
We still had the usual antics and rollercoaster’s rides that are associated with Kyrgios matches these days. I do enjoy watching the interaction and the banter he has with fans when on court. Whether people care to admit it or not, he is primetime TV. Nick is unquestionably a compelling character and one that tennis fans and non-tennis fans alike, like to have an opinion on. The very fact that he gets so many people talking about him and the sport is far from a bad thing. Any press is good press.
My mate said he had backed Kyrgios at 66/1 for the US Open, these are the kind of levels you want to be siding with him at. Built into that price is the complete Nick effect mind. You really just do not know what you are going to get. A first-round loss? Default on match point up in semi-final? Or win it? Tantrums, banter (some healthy, some not) and low percentage shot-making are all part and parcel of Nick’s game. Think of the most extreme circumstances and these are probably all possible. It makes for great viewing, especially combined with his natural talents. As frustrating as you might find it, do you really want to be without this?
Andy Del Potro