I have waited till the dust settled to offer comment on the Nick Kyrgios situation, which is by far the most talked about point in tennis.
It is obvious that he polarises people; so too did Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick as do so many more players but because someone is controversial it does not make them a bad person. In this present day who could be more polarising that the two individuals running in the US Presidential election? Eh?
I was at the Shanghai Rolex Masters when things turned sour for Kyrgios during the match with Mischa Zverev. It was not one of his better moments and for that he later apologised. He received more than anyone’s fair share of criticism but because I did not slam him I was slammed on Twitter.
In coming to my decision not to belittle him or ridicule him I asked myself if it would help the situation. Would it make things better? The answer I came up with was a resounding “No!”
It would have been so, so easy to flare up at him but nothing was going to change and for that I was abused. Why should I follow the path everyone else took?
I have no issue whatsoever if people want to voice an opinion, that is democratic, but this had become personal at me and almost every negative comment made came from a coward, a person who would not reveal who they are by way of a face pic or a proper name. However, they felt it was their right to be abusive. In my view those cowards have no right.
I know Nick Kyrgios and I like him. He is a good guy. He is a sensitive person and a generous person. He, like any other human being, does things they regret. My hand is up to say I do it too and right now I am typing with one hand. The difference with Kyrgios is that he is playing it out in public.
Now ask yourself the following questions: Did he kill anyone? Did he take drugs to gain an advantage? Is he an alcoholic? Has he hit anyone? The answer to each of those is “NO”.
After that ask yourself the next lot of questions: If you believe he threw a match is he the only one to ever do it? Did he spit at another player or a chair umpire as other players have done? Did he abuse the President of the ITF as a player once did? Did he call people politically incorrect names as many players have done? Is he racist? The answer to every one of those questions is a resounding “NO”.
Kyrgios has accepted the punishment handed to him by the ATP and it is a serious penalty, but ask Zverev about the lollipop serve Kyrgios hit during their match. The German thought it was tactics.
Think back to Michael Chang playing Ivan Lendl at the French Open and the underarm serve he played; it worked, Chang went onto win. Sure it didn’t look good what Kyrgios did but what if the ploy worked, he probably would have been regarded as a very clever player.
If Kyrgios or any other player decided to throw a point who is that hurting? It is hurting just one person and that is the player doing it.
Agree with me or not, but that is my opinion of Nick Kyrgios. He would have to force a “YES” answer to any of the questions above for me to change my view of him.