I’m a spoiled human being. For the 4th time I’ve gotten to spend an extended period of time watching the sport I love at the highest stage possible (at least in the United States). The U.S. Open Tennis Championships in Flushing Meadows, NY is more than a tennis tournament. It’s a spectacle of awesomeness where the uppity tennis world meets the mainstream and social media and overall invasive behavior takes over on the most simplistic of stages.
Still, even with all the amazing attractions and impressive options with the grounds of the Billie Jean King Tennis Center (and we’ll get to those), something on Tuesday evening took center stage where the sport would rather not have it go. Third-seeded Andy Murray and young gun Nick Kyrgios were playing on center court at Arthur Ashe and once again the mercurial phenom’s antics were more memorable than the match itself. Watching a guy with this much raw potential and athleticism (he’s built like a linebacker and moves like a cornerback) is frustrating when in the warmups he’s standing a foot inside the baseline while practicing serves and non-chalantly moving to each ball as though it isn’t worth his time.
Over the course of the match Kyrgios acted as though no one in the audience knew just how good he was. He constantly muttered in displeasure to himself that he could’ve made shots had me not been having a bad day. As a former hothead myself, I know all about the excuses and need to play up to anyone watching. But as a kid with the opportunity that he has (and it might be running out) you’d think they’d bring in a sports psychologist rather than a past-his-prime fellow Aussie in Lleyton Hewitt who didn’t seem to have much of any influence.
Instead of putting his head down and shutting up, the time in between points was spent complaining to his guest seats and tossing his racquet around like a ragdoll. You’d think he was Josh Duggar with that porn star. Too soon? By the middle of the second set you could tell he was done for. Had it not been for Andy Murray’s giving away of the third set, this match wouldn’t have looked terribly close in the final score. The dude just needs to learn how to play out a point without underthinking things. He’s too casual about his movement and preparation (things even the most primitive of players should have down). Over the course of a regular match seeing a player try a tweener (through the legs on the defense) might happen once, but this guy tried it three times. It only went over the net once and he still lost the point. He reminds me of a kid I played with in high school that had a lot of game but was more concerned with losing pretty than winning ugly.
What’s more? He’s got a team of idiots let by his brother that can’t harness the ability of the former junior number one. Instead, the back him when he makes a jab at Stan Wawrinka in bad taste referring to his girlfriend. He said that Thanasi Kokkinakis (another immensely talented Aussie youngin’) had sex her. And then kept mentioning it assuming it would get to Wawrinka, who only heard it after the match and then confronted Nick in the locker room. But it’s stupid shit that is becoming Kyrgios’ calling card.
Also, at the Open was a pricier menu, heightened security, and poorly scheduled matches. But the experience was great as always. There was free wi-fi that worked okay and charging stations for phones with locks so no one to steal your shit. Talk about convenience. For some reason I feel like for every person that comes to the event with some kind of fashion sense, there’s like ten that have absolutely no clue. I couldn’t count on ten pair of hands all the people I saw with a fanny pack, popped collar and/or a visor. Anyways, as long as a beer not named Heineken (or Miller Lite) is offered then you’ve got little to complain about at America’s big event. Paying $8.50 for a Miller Lite is ludicrous. For all the new people interested in craft beers you’d think they would try to have something decent. Brooklyn Brewing has a pretty solid product. Not sure why that wasn’t out there.