For decades, the popular refrain from many sports fans and pundits (those who don’t follow tennis all that closely, it should be said) has been: “Tennis needs more personality, more conflict, more bad boys.”
Well, here you go:
Nick Kyrgios walks towards Wawrinka and says:
“Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend, sorry to tell ya that” http://t.co/ApXvmuMVi6
— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) August 13, 2015
Wednesday night at the Rogers Cup in Montreal (a Masters Series event, second in value on the ATP World Tour next to the four majors), Australian Nick Kyrgios told his opponent, Stan Wawrinka, something not meant to be broadcast in a public setting. Kokkinakis is Thanasi Kokkinakis, a fellow ATP professional who, like Kyrgios, is Australian. Wawrinka’s girlfriend is women’s tennis professional Donna Vekic.
Did other tennis players notice? Yes, indeed.
Victoria Azarenka was appalled, as were most tennis fans:
At least walk away from the microphone
We’ll see what kind of discipline is meted out to Kyrgios. We’ll also see how Wawrinka — who had to retire from the match in the third set with Kyrgios leading, 4-0 — responds in the coming days and weeks.
We’ll also see if casual sports fans are drawn more to tennis. If personality was always the answer, we should see a surge in interest… but don’t expect that to happen.
Here’s an interview Kyrgios did with Sportsnet’s Arash Madani afterwards: