Skill. Technique. Power. Nick has the tennis world at his feet. This kid has so much potential, but talent can only take you so far in the end.
When Bernard Tomic burst onto the scene, everyone had big expectations for him and were expecting a top 10 player by now. It can still happen down the line, but having a successful career seems unlikely.
Kyrgios, compared to Tomic, is on a different level. He has the modern day strength of a powerful serve which helps him go a long way.
However, there are reasons as to why the Australian public have turned on him and have found it hard to love him.
Arrogance is the biggest issue. Press conferences, on-court tantrums swearing and tanking have led to him losing his cool and in most cases losing matches which he should be winning comfortably. The second round of the Australian Open this year against Italian Andreas Seppi was a great example, leading two sets to love, and then someone loses in five sets.
Age is no excuse anymore. Being 22 years of age is no teenager as far as I’m concerned. He is old enough to make his own decisions, but judging by his continuous antics, he will never learn from his mistakes.
Even with new coach Sebastian Grosjean in his corner, he was still unprepared against Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round of Wimbledon on Monday. Going off injured after losing the two sets, it shows his ‘cockiness’ in a way because it seems as though he feels no hard work is required.
Back to the Australian Open this year, he blamed his loss to Seppi due to playing too much basketball and a lack of preparation. It has to make Australian tennis fans wonder, is tennis Nick’s priority?
In order to win a grand slam, you need the right mentality. I personally have given him too many chances to think that he will someday win one.
At 22, if the attitude isn’t right, then I don’t buy that he is “young and will learn” or “John McEnroe was the same.” John McEnroe had a winning mentality and wore his heart on his sleeve every game (even if he showed too much passion at times) but you would never see him give up and tank games like Nick has done in the past.
The boy from Canberra reminds me a lot of footballer Mario Balotelli. An absolute talent and should undoubtedly be one of the world’s best right now at 26. Instead his attitude and ego has led to a decline, highlighting that talent only gets you so far. Kyrgios is deciding to follow that exact same path, and there have been no signs to suggest he will change his ways.
Nick will without a doubt have his highs along the way, but unfortunately it won’t include a grand slam title. If I end up being right, he will only have himself to blame and will have regrets for the rest of his life.