June 27, 2015 / Athlete To Watch Let Me Entertain You

By Ralph Tucker (@rtuck17)

Nick Kyrgios isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But no matter what you think of him the kid has got game.

The brash 20-year-old from Canberra has certainly got the tennis world talking.

Just last week former world no.1 and the original ‘Super Brat’ John McEnroe tipped Kyrgios to cause some damage at Wimbledon which starts on June 29 AEST.

He believes the world number 29, who recently split with his coach Todd Larkham, has the X-factor needed to win majors.

“He is close to being ready to make a big breakthrough,” McEnroe told the BBC.

“There is something about him. He brings this belief and intensity. It is not often you see that with a player, and it is nice to see.”

John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios is capable of causing some damage at Wimbledon.
John McEnroe thinks Kyrgios is capable of causing some damage at Wimbledon.

Kyrgios returns to the All England Club as the number 26 seed just 12 months after his famous victory over Rafael Nadal which saw him surge into the quarter-finals.

The draw has been relatively kind to him with unseeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman his first opponent and seventh seed Milos Raonic, the Canadian who took him out last year, Kyrgios’s first projected big danger in the third round.

In his short time in the spotlight Kyrgios has proved to be a polarising figure. The haircut, the clothes, the confident swagger and the indifferent on-court antics are all part of the package.

Nick Kyrgios bows out of the French Open last month against Andy Murray.
Nick Kyrgios bows out of the French Open last month against Andy Murray.

The funny thing is, the man himself isn’t a huge tennis fan.

He would much rather have been a professional basketball player. “I love basketball,” a relaxed Kyrgios said in a pre-tournament interview.

“I don’t really like the sport of tennis that much. I don’t love it. It was crazy when I was 14. I was all for basketball and I made the decision to play tennis. I got pushed by my parents and to this day I can still say I don’t love the sport. It is just how things go.”

You get the impression being an entertainer more so than anything else figures high on Kyrgios’s list of priorities, which was clear when he was asked recently what he thought his best quality was.

“I think it is my ability to have fun, enjoy the crowd, get interacting with the crowd,” he said.

Kyrgios hasn’t enjoyed an ideal build-up to Wimbledon given his split with Larkham, a mystery illness which saw him pull out of last week’s ATP event in Nottingham and a nagging elbow injury which appears to be giving him plenty of grief.