The Write Green

Nick Kyrgios Is Coming for Tennis

Update: On Monday, a little more than 24 hours ahead of his scheduled first-round match, Nick Kyrgios withdrew

He could sleep in his old room, where his cherished collection of colorful basketball shoes lines the

That is next to the room with hundreds of his trophies and plaques and dozens of his

Mornings bring brisk, 12-kilometer walks with his father, his golden retriever King and his miniature Dachshund Quincy,

Whether the tennis establishment likes it or not, no one in the sport fills a stadium like

And as the Australian Open gets underway, Kyrgios is among the favorites to challenge the nine-time champion

That level of pressure and expectation has been kryptonite for Kyrgios before, his self-destructive psyche exploding at

“It’s going to be a hard couple weeks, regardless of whether I win or lose, emotionally,

With all his recent success and notoriety, so much suddenly appears to be riding on Kyrgios

Fans raise their beers and bump chests as Kyrgios wins points with his signature trick shots through

They wear basketball jerseys when they watch him and when they play, just as he does, and

“He brings something different,” said Andrea Gaudenzi, a former pro who is now the chairman of the

The premiere episode focused almost exclusively on Kyrgios, who took a signature victory lap on Twitter

Three hours before the match, he hobnobbed with the top clients of a luxury hotel chain during

Before the event started, he sat alone in a quiet hallway, feeling the pressure of what lay

Moments later, holding a racket in a packed rooftop bar, the bright eyes and big smile of

What makes him so irresistible, that at any time he might produce another can’t-miss moment on

Kyrgios has declined to discuss the matter since it became public during his run to the Wimbledon

Common assault is the least serious assault charge in Australia, but it implies that the victim experienced

If the court accepts this defense and dismisses the case, it could then decide to impose a

The incident occurred during the first weeks of Kyrgios’s relationship with his now constant companion, Costeen

The sport had brought riches and fame but also loneliness, with its endless travel and solitary battles

Goran Ivanisevic, the Wimbledon champion who coaches Djokovic, has called Kyrgios a “tennis genius

” Kyrgios’s father, Giorgos, first noticed that skill when Kyrgios was a toddler hitting a ball hanging

His father, a house painter from Greece, would hit a bucket of balls with him after work

His mother, Norlaila, who is from Malaysia and worked as a software engineer for health care organizations,

They stayed at backpacker hostels and tried to stretch $20 to cover dinner for him and his siblings

Tennis Australia and the tennis authority for his provincial region worked to fill in the gaps, and

When he couldn’t, he lashed out, at tennis officials, the media and the people around him

He could talk about his fears and insecurities and the fragility of his mind to the people

“Knowing that I am not alone anymore and I can kind of open up and talk to

“It’s OK to, you know, feel like having to cry some days

Before last year’s Australian Open, he embarked on the kind of solid six-week training block he

He spent two hours several times a week playing full-court basketball, his true love, with top Australian

Asked for a scouting report on his hoops game, he put it like this:

He also ate better, and he focused on getting more rest instead of more drinks

Then he mostly stuck to the healthier living through Wimbledon, where he once had to be dragged

There, he obliterated the top seed and defending champion, Daniil Medvedev, in the fourth round before suffering

Exhausted from the season and from playing mostly at night so broadcasters could maximize the television audience,

Kyrgios will play Roman Safiullin, an unheralded Russian, in the first round Tuesday

“Not many people can say that they have become a Slam threat, they are going to have