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Move over McEnroe, tennis has a new bad boy - Nick Kyrgios

Ranjan Crasta | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 3:40 IST

Tennis has a new bad boy - Australia's Nick Kyrgios. He's young, he's brash and, like the honey badger, he's all out of shits to give. While the top three of men's tennis are busy being the world's sweethearts, Kyrgios isn't here to make friends. And if you needed proof, here's what he said to two-time Grand Slam winner Stanislas Wawrinka:

"Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend, sorry to tell you that mate." Thanasi Kokkinakis is Kyrgios' Australian team mate and friend.

This wasn't at a bar. This wasn't during a fight. This was on court, during a match.

If Kim Kardashian's ass broke the internet, the usually gentlemanly world of tennis was shattered by Kyrgios' loose tongue. His sledge drew condemnation from everyone - from Wawrinka to your average fan.

It might not be sportsman-like but let's face it, it's the reason the majority of people even know the Rogers Cup is taking place.

'Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word'

Tennis has grace, elegance, poise and technique. Kyrgios brings the spice.

Most sportspeople caught in this sort of storm come up with pathetically unimaginative and politically correct statements. Not Kyrgios. He just put it down to Wawrinka being "a bit lippy".

This isn't Kyrgios' first time at the rodeo either. Heck, it isn't even his first run-in with Wawrinka

And if you were wondering where he gets it from, clearly, he got it from his momma.

In response to the entire controversy, Kyrgios' mum Nill Kyrgios tweeted, "A sledge for a sledge...do your research before piping up like sheep!". Not content just calling people, she even added a "#moaners", just to make sure she got her point across.

Repeat offender

This isn't Kyrgios' first time at the rodeo either. Heck, it isn't even his first run-in with Wawrinka. At the Queen's Club tournament earlier this year, Wawrinka beat him in just under 50 minutes. Kyrgios wrote the loss off saying he wasn't feeling well, an excuse that didn't go down well with Wawrinka who then insinuated that Kyrgios wasn't being honest. So naturally, there's been some bad blood brewing there already.

But Kyrgios seems to reserve his more serious offences for the big stage - the grand slams.

Despite being phenomenally talented, and hailed as the future of Australian tennis, Kyrgios almost managed to get himself disqualified from his home grand slam. Despite a stunning run all the way to the quarter finals of the tourney, Kyrgios will be best remembered for a profanity ridden first round match versus Argentina's Federico Delbonis.

People caught in this sort of storm come up with unimaginative and politically correct statements. Not Kyrgios

Through an error-ridden match Kyrgios dropped F-bombs like a sailor, leading the New York Times' Christopher Clarey to remark, "the Australian was using one particular four-letter word as a noun, verb and adjective".

Luckily for the Australian, the umpire didn't take notice. Had he done so, Kyrgios would've been disqualified from the tournament in the same way John McEnroe was in the same tournament 25 years ago.

Kyrgios was warned by the umpire though - for smashing his racket into the ground after losing the first set.

Tennis' tempest

As temperamental as he is talented, Kyrgios' form and mood seem to go hand in hand. He was actually accused of "tanking" on purpose at Wimbledon after an abysmal fourth round loss to Richard Gasquet of France. Here too Kyrgios' fell foul of the tennis world thanks to courtside microphones - he was heard saying, "I don't want to be here" - after losing the first set 6-1.

The loss even led to Australian Olympic legend Dawn Fraser asking him and compatriot Bernard Tomic to "go back where their parents came from". In typically combative style, Kyrgios hit back, calling Fraser a "blatant racist". Regardless of his recent loss, this was a battle he won.

But Kyrgios wouldn't be Kyrgios if he just learnt from his mistakes and carried on. After his friend Tomic was dropped from Australia's Davis Cup team, Kyrgios turned in such insipid performances that he had to eventually be dropped from the team.

Still, at 20-years-old, his mentality is understandably volatile. His mercurial nature is one of the reasons he's such a dangerous opponent. But, if he wants to be remembered, the way McEnroe is, he's going to have to sort his game out or risk ending up on the scrap heap of also-rans. For the sake of tennis, and for the life he's capable of breathing into the sport, let's hope he manages it.

First published: 13 August 2015, 5:31 IST
Ranjan Crasta @jah_crastafari

The Ranjan (Beardus Horribilis) is a largely land-dwelling herbivorous mammal. Originally from a far more tropical habitat, the Ranjan can now be found wandering the streets of Delhi complaining about the weather, looking for watering holes and foraging for affordable snacks. Mostly human, mostly happy and mostly harmless, the Ranjan is prone to mood swings when deprived of his morning coffee. Having recently migrated to the Catch offices, he now inhabits a shadowy corner and spends his time distracting people and producing video content to distract them further.