Melbourne - Nick Kyrgios is very similar to the weather in
Melbourne. Unpredictable and you never quite know exactly what you are going to
Visitors to Melbourne are told to expect four seasons in one day.
Spectators at Kyrgios’ tennis matches don’t need to be told that they are in
for a wild ride!
Watch Kyrgios play tennis and you will experience him
display a greater fluctuation in moods, emotions and behaviour than one of
Melbourne’s most tempestuous weather days.
You had better expect the unexpected from Kyrgios! He
can express himself in so many different ways: charming, petulant, fun loving, confident,
aloof, indifferent, combative, humble, and appreciative for starters.
Kyrgios is sometimes viewed in the words of Winston
Churchill as a "riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma".
There are many apparent different sides to this
emerging, very talented 20-year-old tennis player.
He sometimes plays in outfits that are very bright or even
fluorescent, at other times in a bright red tank top (his current preference
for the 2016 Australian Open). His hairstyles have varied from Mohawk to very
short with patterns and plenty in between.
In a few of the Grand Slams he has played in he has
engaged with the crowd in numerous ways (from asking a spectator at last year’s
Australian Open why he was leaving the stadium to engaging with a fan in a
Batman t-shirt at Wimbledon last year).
In his four set loss (3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 4-6) to
Tomas Berdych on Sunday, Kyrgios was distracted by music that appeared to be coming from
the bleachers at the Rod Laver Arena - and he was not shy in expressing his
“I don’t know where it came from. The ref was telling me he
couldn’t hear it. I could blatantly hear it. It was just strange.”
Kyrgios also has a sensitive side. He described how it
was an emotional experience for him watching compatriot Lleyton Hewitt bow out.
“I thought it was really sad seeing him go. Seeing his family come
on court was pretty emotional.”
Kyrgios is also able to look at the bigger picture in
a humble way. Does he see himself taking over Hewitt’s mantle?
everything I can to try and take over for what he’s left. But I’m a bit far
away now. There’s a little work to do.”
Kyrgios also has the ability to brutally honest and
open. When discussing his loss to Berdych.
“I’m so disappointed, like I put so
much work in, and I just feel like I let a lot of people down.”
At other times he can be a closed book during press
conferences, not making eye contact with any of the journalists, answering
questions sarcastically, or providing terse 'yes' or 'no' answers with very little
Is his behaviour so extreme for a 20-year-old? Being
in the public eye is a difficult place to grow up. It becomes even more
challenging when you are one of your countries greatest emerging tennis
talents. Another degree of difficulty when you are making a great deal of money
in the process.
In my humble opinion, Kyrgios is still
trying to establish the best strategy to show the tennis world his authentic
self. When he hits upon what this persona looks like, the tennis world is in for
a surprise both on and off court.
It will likely bring stability and
predictably to his behaviour, consistency to his on-court performances along
with a tumbling world ranking. Until this powerful moment of insight and
self-discovery arrives, he may continue to display all the unpredictable
attributes of Melbourne’s weather!