Nick Behind the Mic

Nov 23, 2023, 9:39:05 AM | by Craig Gabriel

Nick Behind the Mic
After the year he has had away from the pro tour because of injuries, Nick Kyrgios highlighted one of his other talents which was a debut in the commentary box for Tennis Channel during the ATP Finals, writes Craig Gabriel.

 

Everyone and anyone who knows this great sport knows that Nick Kyrgios is compelling and compulsory viewing when he is on court and playing. It’s a show that they get to see. He has always said that he is an entertainer, so tennis has missed his, what’s the word, let’s say showmanship and his skills in 2023.

He played just one match the whole year and he lost that one on a surface that he cherishes, grass. He has said that having to pull out of the Australian Open was one of the hardest decisions he has had to make about his tennis. And while watchers of tennis missed him and being able to talk about Kyrgios, Nick has no doubt also missed the locker room.

The Australian started the year with a knee injury that required surgery and he posted picture on social media of what was removed. In case anyone is eating a meal while reading this, the decision was taken not to show what he posted. Then, when he was almost ready, he sustained a wrist injury that set him back, but Kyrgios has been back on the court and in the gym and the indications are that from early 2024 he will be seen back in action.

In the recent meantime that man has followed in the footsteps of fellow players and turned to commentary as a guest commentator on Tennis Channel and he shared the set with two guys who have become institutions on the station, Jim Courier and Andy Roddick.

As they say in the classics, this is a totally different ball game. If only A-Rod and Nick-K had played during the same era, oh man tennis was robbed of drama. That would have been a cross between a Marvel movie and a boys in the hood type movie. It would have been blockbuster stuff.

Both Jim and Andy critiqued Nick well and said for a first outing it was not too bad at all. He was insightful which he said he is anyway and the fans certainly enjoyed his time on the air.

 

“I think it was amazing and I feel I’m a student of the game and he (pointing to Courier) makes it very easy of course,” Kyrgios said about calling matches from the ATP Finals in Turin despite the commentary team being based in California. 

Jim turned to Andy who was listening from his home in Asheville, North Carolina, and asked him for his opinion.

“Listen it was not quite as good as his serve or his antics on the court, but listen there’s still; time,” Roddick said jokingly. “I’m excited because I might be predictable on this one; I’m not the most predictable one on the set so I’m pumped. I want to see what we are going to get to.”

Kyrgios looked pretty classy with his presentation in the studio wearing a sports coat with a pocket square and his hairstyle was smart.

And then there was the blooper. In his first outing as a commentator, Nick has already made his way on to the blooper tape and initially he did not even realise what it was all about. 

While talking about players facing Daniil Medvedev he unintentionally and amusingly misspoke. Instead of saying “players who have had success with Medvedev”, what came out was “players who have had sex with Medvedev”. Right on Kygs.

Seriously though, Kyrgios was not stalling with his words, there was no tentative views or comments, he was right on the money with what he had to say and how he expressed his views. Kyrgios was very interesting to listen to and most definitely added another dimension to the on-air team.

“I feel I’m a student of the game, I can give them insights, I’ve been on the courts with most of these guys, I’ve shared locker room moments, and I can give them a different look but it’s pretty easy sitting next to Jim in the booth. It was a lot of fun and I always thought this was something I could fall into … you never know,” Kyrgios said. “I never wanted it to end, I was having so much fun.” 

And with that he was off to the Lakers-Sacramento game.