The Roar
The Roar


Catch Kyrgios, but don’t ask him to play tennis

Nick Kyrgios is through to the second round at the Aussie Open. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta-Journal Constitution via AP)
Roar Guru
29th August, 2016

His two best friends at the moment are 13-year old Tauheed Browning and 14-year old Langston Williams, fellow trainees at the Evert Tennis Academy in Florida. The three are inseparable, be it at the movies or at the malls, and always playing Pokemon Go.

He is our very own Nick Kyrgios.

“It’s important to find a balance between Pokemon and training” he recently told a New York Times journalist, with what the report describes as “only the faintest hint of sarcasm”.

He doesn’t know (and clearly doesn’t care) what strings he uses on his racquet, explaining that they were supplied by Yonex, the manufacturer, and he just waits for the next consignment if the string breaks. He also doesn’t know (and doesn’t care), what size racquet head he uses.

But he is clearly more talented than I am, since I know what size racquet head and what string I use for my weekend matches with friends, while he is ranked No. 16 in the world, and doesn’t give a hoot. So it’s all good.

In the meantime, the US Open is underway, and if Nick can spare some time from his mobile phone (and since he’s never before been beaten at a Grand Slam by an unseeded player), we could have an interesting Third Round where the two insanely talented bad boys of Aussie tennis possibly meet each other.

If the phone is switched off and there are no pickup basketball games going, Nick might then (assuming he gets past a Tomic hot from his victory last week over Nishikori) meet Stan Wawrinka in the quarters, where, between games, he will get another chance to discuss with Stan the women in their lives.

If Kyrgios manages to stay focused on the job at hand (a tall task for him so far), then sheer talent on the day could propel him past Stan into the semis.

In the semis, will await Murray (there won’t be too many bets against Andy making it here on current form) and a mental mountain to climb for Nick, given what happened at Wimbledon this year, and Flushing Meadows last year.


If Murray Mountain is conquered, the court on the summit will see either Djokovic or Raonic waiting to take him on.

If Raonic makes it, the US Open might well see its first Aussie Champion in 15-years.

And that would be a pivotal moment in tennis history, for that might well be the moment when Nick Kyrgios realises that he was born to play tennis, and falls in love with what he does best in life.

It could also be the moment when he feels he has nothing else to achieve, and walks off to the nearest basketball court.

Your Pokemon Go can then catch Nick Kyrgios, but it won’t be able to make him play tennis.