Australia's Nick Kyrgios unconcerned by 'bad boy' image

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Strong minded: Kyrgios.

Nick Kyrgios may be shaping up to be the bad boy of Australian tennis but the fiery 20-year-old is not concerned about how he is being perceived.

– GALLERY: Top ten Wimbledon upsets of all-time
– Diary: Tournament steeped in tradition serves up unique affair
– Wimbledon: Federer, Nadal and Kvitova all advance with ease
– Djokovic: Lucky bird helps Serbian advance into round two

The young Aussie, who faces Argentina’s Juan Monaco on Wednesday on Court 18, is one of the emerging characters on tour but does not always say or do the right thing.

Bringing a lot of swagger to the tennis court, Kyrgios, who exploded onto the scene when he beat Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon fourth round last season, often loses it on the court and was heard saying “dirty scum” during his opening match on Monday following an argument with umpire Mohamed Lahyani.

Kyrgios explained the words were not directed towards anyone but himself but some can be forgiven for finding some of his behaviour inappropriate at times.

Asked how he felt about being branded a “bad boy” Kyrgios said: “I don’t know what to answer. I don’t know. I play the sport the way I play it. I’m not going to change…

“I think the sport needs characters. I feel like it’s good when you see someone that’s raw and just plays the game the way they play it, doesn’t really worry about other stuff when they’re out there.”

He added that it wouldn’t bother him one bit if he was slapped with a fine for audible obscenity during that match.

In the press room, Kyrgios is often funny or irritable and sometimes both at once.

“Why are you so caught up about the question?” he said the other day when quizzed about his cursing on court.

An avid basketball fan, Kyrgios used to play the game when he was younger before choosing tennis full-time. He spends hours watching it on TV and finds it entertaining in many aspects – aspects that are not really present in tennis.

“I just love basketball as a sport. I think it’s exciting. It’s always exciting. Always something happening.  There were parts of today where it was really quiet in my match,” he said after his first round win.

“I just enjoy the whole aspect of the team environment. I’m wearing a shooting sleeve on my left arm for some reason this week. I don’t really know why.”

Kyrgios’ game seems tailored for grass, with his booming serve and powerful forehand, but he says it’s actually not his favourite surface.

He’s playing just his second Wimbledon main draw but despite having little experience at this level, he already has two grand slam quarter-final appearances under his belt.

“This time around, I felt I experienced some of these things before,” said the No 26 seed. “Being two sets to love down at Wimbledon, coming back, I’ve done that. Winning a tight first round last year, I’ve done that. Beating the No1 player in the world on Centre Court, I’ve done that.

“I just feel I am maybe more comfortable this time around. Maybe not so experienced, but I feel I’m aware of my surroundings. I’m in the championship locker room as well. That’s new to me. It’s only the start of my career. I’m still learning every time I play a grand slam.”

Most popular

Simona Halep and Eugenie Bouchard crash out of Wimbledon first round

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Halep (l) was a surprise 1st round victim.

Eugenie Bouchard was knocked out in the first round at Wimbledon as one of the biggest stars of the grand slam 12 months ago became the first big-name casualty of this year’s tournament.

– GALLERY: Top ten Wimbledon upsets of all-time
– Diary: Tournament steeped in tradition serves up unique affair
– Wimbledon: Federer, Nadal and Kvitova all advance with ease
– Djokovic: Lucky bird helps Serbian advance into round two

Canadian Bouchard marched through to the 2014 final, where Petra Kvitova denied her the title, but has endured a terrible season on tour and the Wimbledon exit adds to her troubles.

She lost 7-6 (7/3) 6-4 to China’s Duan Ying-Ying on Court Three, sealing her own fate by cracking a forehand into the net.

Elsewhere in the women’s draw, third-seeded Romanian Simona Halep was also on the wrong end of a shock, losing in the first round 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 to Jana Cepelova of Slovakia.

Halep reached the semi-finals 12 months ago, just a month after finishing runner-up at the French Open.

The 22-year-old Cepelova, ranked 106 in the world, had won only one match on the tour all year before Tuesday.

She goes on to face another Romanian, Monica Niculescu, for a place in the last 32.

Most popular

Malek Jaziri urges fellow Tunisians to stand against terrorists

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Jaziri playing at Queen's earlier this month.

Tunisian tennis star Malek Jaziri said Tuesday extremists were trying to kill the country’s democracy and economy and urged tourists to stand with his homeland in facing down terrorism.

– GALLERY: Top ten Wimbledon upsets of all-time
– Diary: Tournament steeped in tradition serves up unique affair
– Wimbledon: Federer, Nadal and Kvitova all advance with ease
– Djokovic: Lucky bird helps Serbian advance into round two

The 31-year-old, who is competing at Wimbledon, said it was hard to think about tennis after Friday’s gun massacre on a Tunisian beach, in which 38 mostly British holidaymakers were slain.

“Tunisia is against terrorism. All the population knows that. We try to fight against all that. It can happen everywhere, like it’s happened before here in London or in Paris,” he told reporters.

“It’s not easy when things like that happen in your country. You feel bad and you feel sorry for those people who were there and were killed. “You think straight away for your family, your friends — for everyone, for human beings.”

Jaziri, Africa’s second-best player at 84 in the world, said the gun rampage at Port El Kantaoui was also an attack on ordinary Tunisians because it targeted the country’s nascent democracy and has damaged the vital tourism industry on which so many workers rely.

It was the second attack on tourists in Tunisia claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group in just three months.

“These kind of people are against democracy,” Jaziri said. “Tunisia has been a democracy now for four or five years and they don’t want that our democracy goes well and that we show a good image of Tunisia all around the world. They want to kill our economy by that.”

Following the 2011 overthrow of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, “in Tunisia we are working on our economy for a few years to come back, it’s not easy — and then they make these kind of things.

“It’s really the moment that Tunisia needs all the people around. Our economy is based on tourism.

“I hope that people understand what’s happening and the tourists come back.”

Jaziri called for tougher measures to combat the spread of the extremists’ narrative.

“It happens when more people are poor. I don’t know how they do it but they infect them,” he said.

“We have to condemn all these things and to be more strict. It is not easy because we have a border with Libya but hopefully we protect more our borders.

“The military and the police, they try to do their best to protect all the people. The most important thing is we need help in order to protect, to give confidence to Tunisian people. We are all the same and we are against terrorism.”

Jaziri, a gold medallist at the 2011 Pan Arab Games who has represented Tunisia in the Davis Cup for 15 years, said his country’s Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities co-existed peacefully.

“All our religions live together and we never had problems before,” said the Tunis-based player.

“Tunisia is a beautiful country. We have 3,000 years of history, it’s all together and we don’t want that shit happening in our country. Hopefully in the future it will be better.”

Jaziri was narrowly edged out in his first round match at Wimbledon against Australian world number 87 James Duckworth 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, 3-6, 3-6, 7-5 in a contest that lasted more than three hours.

But he will compete again in the men’s doubles later in the tournament.

Most popular