2022 – The year of Nick Kyrgios
For years, Nick Kyrgios has been somewhat of an enigma. The maverick Australian has always had bags of talent, of that there can be no doubt. But his commitment to the sport, as well as his fiery temper haven’t endeared him to fans.
That was until this year. It finally seems that everything is starting to fall into place for the 27-year-old and a number of impressive victories have seen him rise up the ATP rankings. Online bookmakers such as Virgin Bet, which provides betting and free offers on tennis, still make Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic the favorite for next year’s majors, but could Kyrgios close the gap to the greatest tennis player of all time?
He did close the gap somewhat this year, giving the Serb all he could handle in the Wimbledon final. Kyrgios reached the final after defeating Paul Jubb, Filip Krajinović, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Brandon Nakashima, and Cristian Garín, before securing a walkover win over Rafael Nadal in the semifinals after the Spaniard withdrew with an injury.
The victories over Jubb and Tsitsipas were both bad-tempered affairs, but the tussle with Djokovic was anything but. Kyrgios managed to take the first set against the 21-time major winner and battled hard throughout. He eventually succumbed to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 defeat in just over three hours, but not before earning the GOAT’s respect.
After the hard-earned victory, Djokovic said: “I wish you all the best. I respect you a lot and you are a phenomenal talent. I never thought I would say so many nice things about you!”
At that moment, Djokovic spoke for tennis fans the world over.
Kyrgios finally has his coming out party
When 2022 got underway, it looked like it would be anything but Nick Kyrgios’ year. Due to his Asthma and illness, the Australian had to withdraw from two tournaments on home turf, namely the ATP 250 tournament in Melbourne and the Sydney Tennis Classic. As a result, he dropped all the way down to 114th in the world rankings, his first stint outside the top 100 since June 2014.
Kyrgios would bounce back in style at the Australian Open. He decimated Brit Liam Broady in straight sets in the first round, before running into world number one Danil Medvedev in the second round. The Russian had too much to handle, however, and Kyrgios would bounce back in the doubles tournament alongside teammate Thanasi Kokkinakis. The pair became the first Australians to win the Australian Open since 1997 and that would kickstart Kyrgios’ season.
Kyrgios would reach the quarterfinals at Indian Wells before running into Nadal. He went one better in Houston and Stuttgart, before losing out to Reilly Opelka and a resurgent Andy Murray respectively. Without securing silverware, it was clear that Kyrgios was on the rise, and that would culminate with his run to the Wimbledon final, the first major final of his career, but surely not the last.
He would follow up his impressive performance at the All England Club with his first trophy in three years at the Washington Open. Kyrgios defeated Marcos Giron, Tommy Paul, Reilly Opelka, Frances Tiafoe, and Mikael Ymer before securing victory over Yoshihito Nishioka in the final and bagging himself a cool $342,800 in prize money.
At the US Open he once again impressed, securing revenge for his Australian Open defeat against Medvedev – his second win against the Russian on the tour – and reaching the quarterfinals. In the final eight, however, Kyrgios appeared to suffer an injury and was on the brink of retiring. He battled through the pain but eventually succumbed to a defeat in five sets against Karen Khachanov.
Kyrgios earned himself plenty of plaudits even in the defeat, and he has given himself a solid platform to build upon in 2023. He currently sits at 21st in the world rankings.. Don’t be surprised to see him climb even higher next season.
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