Why America is good for Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios Australian Open 2022

Australian Nick Kyrgios has a reputation for not caring much about his game. However, the 26-year-old looks to have grown recently.

Why America is good for Nick Kyrgios

The Australian outbursts at Indian Wells are the latest in a long line of a “bad boy” image that follows Nick Kyrgios around. The World #102 landed himself with a fine after Indian Wells, where he threw his racquet and almost hit a ballkid.

However, Kyrgios actually seems to play well and care about tennis at the spring hard courts event in the USA. The Australian had a very good tournament in California. A relatively quick first round match against Sebastian Baez set the ball rolling for the 26 year old.

Kyrgios defeated the Argentine in straight sets, dominating in the second to set up a clash with the 32rd seed Federico Delbonis. The 26 year old completely outplayed the Argentine in another quick straight sets match. Eighth seed Casper Rudd was the next opponent for Kyrgios.

The Norwegian managed to stay a bit closer, but once again the Australian secured breaks of serve. Turning on the tennis Kyrgios took out Rudd in another quick straight sets match. The 10th seed was next, but Jannik Sinner withdrew before the match took place.

This set up a tasty quarter-final match against Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard was the fourth seed. Kyrgios pushed Nadal all the way in the first set, before the Spaniard dominated the tiebreak. Kyrgios then broke Nadal serve in the second set, just as it looked to be heading to a tiebreak. The former world #1 battled to break serve in the final set to defeat the 26 year old.


Kyrgios has stayed in the States and in the Miami Masters got drawn against Adrian Mannarino. A tricky first set as the Frenchman fought to stay with the Australian. Kyrgios broke through in the tiebreak, and eased through the second set.

An interesting second round match is in the offing, as the Australian is up against Andrey Rublev the fifth seed. The pair are level on the head to head. Kyrgios won their first meeting in October 2018 at the Kremlin Cup, a match that went the distance before the Australian got the better of Rublev. They next met in 2019 at the US Open, when Kyrgios was seeded #28 and Rublev was unseeded.

This was one of the bad years for the Australian. Getting defaulted, two titles, and a suspended ban were not a good look for Kyrgios. However, more recently the 26 year old seems to have focussed on his tennis. Previously, he would appear bored with the sport and would not put in the effort. In the US Open in 2019, Rublev and Kyrgios battled hard in the first two sets, which went to tiebreaks. Rublev won them both. The third set went the way of Rublev who progressed in the tournament.

Kyrgios, when he has his head together, looks very good. He is looking very good at the moment, with the only blip the smashing of the racquet after losing to Nadal in Indian Wells. That was passion, and although foolish as he nearly hit a ballkid, shows that the Australian cares about the sport again.

The match against Rublev should be a cracker. With Kyrgios looking good at the moment, it wouldn’t be a surprise for the fifth seed to be out of Miami by the end of the match. Kyrgios has grown up, it’s taken time but he really does look like he is enjoying tennis now.

Main Photo from Getty.