Krygios - the Bad Boy of tennis - is known for his controversial remarks, on-court antics, and his tendency to the make bizarre shot choices. One particularly bizarre one was this one he made against Nadal in the Cincinnati Masters 2017 (see video below):
All these may seem an unfortunate blemishing and significant hindrance to an otherwise crazily talent and naturally high-achieving tennis player. Perhaps he could have been doing so much better on tour and even break into the top 5 should he not have all these. Perhaps. We prefer to disagree with this assumption though. We in fact see these hindrances as the other half of the main reason for his greatness. What is such main reason? The ability to be entirely true to himself in his game, and therefore tap fully into the talent pool within him.
In fact, what led us to this theory is an interview Kyrgios had, in which he was asked why he liked to do the tweener, to which he replied that he based his game on instinct. Such following of the instinct is also showing in his techniques - his forehand is unusually physical, his backhand unusually flat, and his footwork unusually basketball-like (he does not bend his knees or small-step that much, and because of such has a much more explosive footwork). Kyrgios is the ultimate, and perhaps also the only (from the looks of it it is indeed such), method actor of professional tennis. His game-play - the playing out of every match, every set, every point - is inseparable from his emotions and personality, but more importantly a genuine instinct and intuition for the game, which is no doubt locked within many other professional players, never to be unearthed for practical use. This emotional roller-coaster ride, although completely unhelpful to him at his lowest of times - the worst one being his match against Mischa Zverev at the 2016 Shanghai masters (video just below) -
has allowed him to pull off stunning performances most people his age could only dream of - the best one in our opinion, being his defeating of Nadal at the 2017 Cincinnati Masters 2017 (video just below)
Another characteristic (or shall we say, asset?) endowed upon Kyrgios by this attitude is his fearlessness. He does not get deterred in the least bit by the profile of his opponent, but carries out his attacking game naturally and without hesitations for every match - or else he would not have made his upsets over the Big Four. A desirable trait it is to have such fearlessness, but it is not one common at all in the tennis world - for example, just recall Andy Roddick's freezing up in his quarter-final match against Nadal at the 2011 US Open.
On a last point, we often receive this question during our discussions with people concerning this matter, that is Nadal not like Kyrgios psychologically. Well, there is a big difference in that Kyrgios truly is fearless, whereas Nadal's tenacity is artificial. In fact, ex-tennis champion and now tennis commentator Mats Wilander, once remarked that Nadal's over-the-shoulder forehands are made whenever he is nervous, while he tends to flatten his shots when he is more confident.
A true character indeed, and we respect him thoroughly despite all the negative media hype going around about him
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