Tennis Legend Rod Laver Wants ATP to Ban Nick Kyrgios

The on-court behavior of Nick Kyrgios has gotten a lot of feedback from current and former players alike. Just last month we reported how Andy Murray was all in favor of players like Nick Kyrgios. The Great Britain star had mentioned how Kyrgios was making the game of tennis more fun one step at a time and how the game needed more like him. 

But while Kyrgios and his antics might sit in favor with some of the current players, former players are surely having a hard time digesting his behavior. 

Just recently, tennis legend and star Rod Laver spoke about Nick Kyrgios and the two controversies that surround him. The investigations being run by ATP are focused on unsportsmanlike conduct by Kyrgios on multiple occasions. 

Previously, Kyrgios was fined $113,000 (£93,000) by the ATP for his unsportsmanlike behavior during the Cincinnati Masters. The fine was imposed after Kyrgios abused umpire Fergus Murphy during a match. 

Kyrgios didn’t respond well to the fine as he thought ATP in general was ‘pretty corrupt.’ 

Rod Laver, who is one of Australia’s biggest tennis stars, has opened up about Kyrgios and the controversies that surround him. 

Whatever they have done hasn’t worked so far, so maybe a suspension is the only answer,” Laver mentioned while speaking to the Australian publication The Age.

I’m not sure he’s learned anything from any of the things that have gone on.Nick is Nick, unfortunately. He could have been, or still could become, a world champion because of his serving ability, his game. But his brain gets in the way. He doesn’t want to adhere to the conditions or the umpire,” further added Laver. 

It is expected that ATP will take action against Kyrgios before the start of the Laver Cup on September 20th.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-k-xzg3X2E

Why Nick Kyrgios Is the Poster Boy Tennis Needs

It is August 3rd, and the crowd in Washington is host to an intense match between Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas. What starts peacefully soon turns into another one of Nick Kyrgios’s meltdown, as he smashes his racket on the ground twice and grunts at the unfavorable attitude of the crowd. 

Kyrgios was serving at 2-1 when the crowd rattled him with taunts. Kyrgios, who is known to be on his heels in the court, lost all patience and furiously slammed his racket on the court while hurling abuse. 

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Earlier in the tournament, playing against Slovak Norbert Gombos, Krygios went to a female in the court and asked her, “Where do you want me to go with this serve?” 

The suggestion did work for Kyrgios as he went on to get an ace on that particular serve. Kyrgios thanked his supporter at the end of the match and went on to embrace her. He then went on to mention this in his after match press conference, “I’m just super happy that all the work I’m doing off the court is translating onto the court. Four days in a row, four matches competing at my highest level; I’m pretty happy with in honestly. The crowd’s been amazing. I love playing night matches here. The crowd’s hanging around for late night matches and getting into it, and I’m just trying to give them fun tennis to watch, and also trying to get some wins as well.”

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Kyrgios is certainly new and unique to the sport of tennis. We have seen many stars pass around, but it is good to have someone bring back that swagger that was absent from the courts for a long time. 

Britain’s Andy Murray recently mentioned why Nick Kyrgios is necessary and perfect for the sport. “When he’s mentally engaged in the matches, he’s brilliant for tennis because he has an exciting game, a big personality and he’s different,” mentioned Murray while speaking to the official ATP website.

His match with Rafa [Nadal] at Wimbledon was one of the best matches of the tournament. That’s really good for tennis. As someone who knows him well, I like him. I just want to see him do that all of the time,” added Murray. 

Murray however was quick to mention that there was a fine line between being competitive and being offensive towards others, and that all players should be looking to follow it. 

Everyone matures at different ages. Some people are ready when they are 18, 19 to deal with what comes with being a top athlete and some people aren’t ready and it takes them a bit of time. I’m hoping that with time Nick will learn and be better for it. When he’s engaged in tennis and wants to play he’s brilliant for the game. And when he isn’t giving his best effort and misbehaving, that’s not what people want to see. He needs to find that balance.”

Kyrgios has himself mentioned that he has come a long way during the past few months, and has more command on his anger than before. 

In a recent conference, Kyrgios said: “It’s amazing. Where I was six months ago, some of the things I was doing, to respond like this having incredible support, it’s amazing. I’ve proved to myself and a lot of people that have backed me that I still have it. It’s been one of the best weeks of my life from a tennis perspective.”

While there is still uncertainty over the path Kyrgios’s career takes in the future, what we do know is that he is destined to achieve a lot more for himself and for the sport. 

John McEnroe Backs Serena in Row with Dominic Thiem

John McEnroe, the ‘self-appointed commissioner of Tennis,’ has come to the defense of Serena Williams over the incident that happened in a post match press conference at the French Open. 

Dominic Thiem, the Austrian world number 4, was booted outside of the press room when Serena Williams walked into the press room for her interview. 

Thiem was extremely furious at being asked to step out of the press room for Serena, and said that the American star had a very bad personality. McEnroe was not happy with this situation and decided to share his thoughts on the matter. 

McEnroe, in a recent interview, has mentioned that he thinks the whole scenario has been blown out of proportion by those in the media. 

It also gives me an opportunity to show how easy it is to engineer fake news and manipulate people’s opinions. Fact: Dominic Thiem was kicked out of the main press room in the middle of his media duties to make way for Serena Williams. Fact: Thiem was less than pleased about it. With these two facts, the social media public court was quick to deliver a verdict: “How can she do that? Does she have no shame? Who does she think she is?” ‘It was not only the usual hateful trolls who voiced their discontent. In fact, the mainstream media started to weigh in on it. See, there is something on the internet and they immediately start to report on it and voice an opinion. Yes, an opinion! Whatever happened to the fundamental rule of journalism? Three independent sources should confirm the fact, and then – only then – can you report on it,” said McEnroe during a recent interview. 

He went on to say, “but here’s the problem: They didn’t have all their facts straight. Little known but true fact: Serena Williams had actually asked for a smaller room so that she could be done with it. But somehow the organizers insisted she hold the press conference in the main room where Thiem was at the time. ‘A smaller room was available because that’s where Thiem ended up. When Serena was made aware that they had to move the Austrian to make room for her she was heard saying: “Whoah, that’s rude!” Yes it was. See this is not a tiny detail. It changes the whole f***ing story. Serena’s not a diva who can’t wait two minutes. She’s the victim of a screw up by the organization, and so is Thiem. ‘I know a lot of journalists who should eat a good slice of humble pie after this one.”

The facts by McEnroe appear dodgy and not in congruence with what was the reality. Williams did not want to be sent into a second conference room, she wanted to be in the area where Dominic Thiem was holding his press conference. She even told a tournament official that ‘woah you’re very rude’ when he asked her to shift rooms. 

The only victim here is Dominic Thiem, and he needs justice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFYkgpC8UCE

Controversial Underarm Serve from Nick Kyrgios Leaves Tennis World in Shock

What a year to be alive as tennis fan. You have stiff competition within some of the best players of the game, and there are new stars coming through. However, the biggest talking point or the biggest controversy from this year has to be the advent of the underarm serve from Australian Nick Kyrgios. 

Kyrgios, who is no stranger to controversy, first produced the underarm serve against Rafael Nadal, on his way to beat the pro in their Mexican Open encounter in February. 

Kyrgios has again produced the underarm serve during his rout of Serbian Dusan Lajovic in the Miami Open. Kyrgios produced the infamous underarm serve twice during the match against Lajovic and went on to win 6-3, 6-1. 

Kyrgios who has been bathing in controversy ever since his professional tennis debut is most famous for the unsavory incident involving Stan Wawrinka in 2015. Kyrgiois is believed to have abused Wawrinka as he made some unsavory remarks against his girlfriend, a fellow tennis professional Donna Vekic. 

However, this underarm serve has to be Kyrgios most telling controversy in terms of impact on the game. He has seemingly defended the tactic after first trying it against Rafa. 

I think it’s a tactic, for sure. Especially with Rafa – I was starting to feel my legs cramp up so I needed a free point at any cost,” said Kyrgios. “He’s standing so far behind the baseline, so I thought the underarm serve might break his rhythm.”

While the attempt against Nadal didn’t pay off, Kyrgios has most probably perfected the serve and executed it to perfection against Lajovic. 

While the underarm serve is perfectly effective and sits well within the legal lines of tennis, there are some questions whether it passes the lines of sportsmanship on the court. 

Judy Murray, who is a tennis coach and mother of British star Andy Murray believes that this shot is extremely clever and should be applauded. 

The whole point of tennis competition is to disrupt your opponents game by applying pressure through changing the speed, spin, direction, depth or height of the ball,” Judy Murray said on Twitter. “And that includes the serve. Kyrgios is a genius. I’m surprised more players don’t do it.”

Not many people understand genius or know what to do with it so they try to get genius to conform to something they do understand. Kyrgios has uncanny instinct and vision. He’s unpredictable and has phenomenal creativity and hand skills. Yes he’s mentally inconsistent but he’s a genius.” 

Roger Federer, who is arguably the greatest male tennis player of all times has also stood in favor of the serve. Federer mentioned, “Yeah, underarm is definitely a tactic, I believe, especially when guys are hugging the fence in the back.”

From that standpoint, you shouldn’t be ashamed if you try it out, you just look silly if you miss it sometimes. Why not try it?”

The problem is like in practice, you never really try it. When you come out in the big stage in front of a full crowd, tricky to pull off.”

 

Stefanos Tsitsipas Places Charges of Preferential Treatment for Roger Federer and Other Senior Players

Stefanos Tsitsipas, the upcoming tennis sensation from Greece has turned quite a few heads by alleging that Chair Umpires have preferential behavior towards senior players such as Roger Federer and the Bryan Brothers. 

Tsitsipas put these charges while playing against the Bryan Brothers in the double final. Umpire Wesley Koolhof was overseeing the match, when Tsitsipas accused him and others of granting special privileges for opponents such as the Bryan brothers and Roger.

He later elaborated on twitter, when followers asked him about his on-court behavior. He used the social media handle to mention that while he admired Federer and other stars like Djokovic and Nadal, he couldn’t help but point out the preferential treatment that they received. 

“I think players that have been doing really well over the years, players that are generally much respected in the tennis world have privileges when it comes to certain rules and umpire decisions,” wrote the world number 10.

I felt this couple of times when playing these guys and I think it’s a bit unfair. Roger Federer is always going to be my favorite player no matter what. I don’t want to drag him into this. It’s not his fault or intention, it’s the umpires that are trying to protect them more than they are supposed to. Nothing more than that.”

Federer strongly disagreed with these charges and mentioned that umpires do interact different with some of the top players, but there is no foul play like preferential treatment involved here. 

It’s a tough one but what I do feel sometimes is that on the outside courts, more than just preferential treatment to the top guys, they are tougher on the rules,” Federer said to AFP.

You do something – bang, warning. It’s like there is no messing about. But with the umpires with the top guys on the main courts, I think the umpires know the top guys, they know their problems, they know how they behave and how they will react, so they know what acting stupid or silly means and what normal is. So because we know each other very well, I think it’s easier for an umpire to handle a top player who they know over an up-and-coming guy like Tsitsipas or a young guy and that sometimes gets lost in translation and maybe bad mistakes can happen. But I don’t see preferential treatment, there shouldn’t be,” Federer said.

Viewers on the internet have reacted strongly to these claims by Tsitsipas and believe that he needs to be more careful with how he speaks about some of the seniors. One of the commenters on YouTube mentioned that Tsitsipas is an exciting young talent, and he should make sure that he respects the pros of the game. The world number 10 has indeed had a good last year, and there are high hopes associated with his meteoric growth in the sport. The future is indeed bright for him.