Why is Kyrgios so Ruud?

Tennis Pilot

Thursday, November 14, 2019 8:13 AM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 8:13 AM UTC

Everyone is boring if you use Kyrgios as THE standard

<div><p>Nick Kyrgios and Casper Ruud met for the first time at the Rome Masters in 2019, and it was a classic instance of the Aussie losing his cool. After levelling the match one set all, Kyrgios went on to break early in the decider and had all the momentum. However, Ruud broke back immediately and held to love. Complaining at someone in the crowd, Kyrgios shouted ‘I’m #$@&amp;%*! done’ before smashing his racquet and throwing a chair onto the court. He was promptly disqualified as per the rules (though arguably he retired). So, a typical day in the life of the Aussie super star.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"und\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;😱(🎥&lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/TennisTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;@TennisTV&lt;/a&gt; ) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/ibi19?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#ibi19&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/ku2wRVc7Lq\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/ku2wRVc7Lq&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/doublefault28/status/1129014721754161152?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;May 16, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><p>The funny part was that Ruud decided to celebrate the victory by default. In fact, he celebrated wildly, as if he had won 7-6 in the third. Taking the Michael? Perhaps. After the match he told reporters, ‘I think he got what he deserved. He thinks he can do what he likes.’ The Norwegian continued, ‘It doesn’t seem like anything makes him change these days. The ATP should do something. I’m not the only one who thinks he should be suspended for at least half a year.’</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Casper Ruud, from the land of Thor, thinks ATP should bring down the hammer on Nick Kyrgios: &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;“I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks he should be suspended for at least half a year.”&lt;/p&gt;— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/BenRothenberg/status/1129105289041473536?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;May 16, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><p>Kyrgios was not impressed. He posted a video of Ruud’s celebration on Twitter with the caption ‘hahahahaha’. Five months passed and the beef was seemingly over, but Ruud reignited the fire. When asked about Kyrgios’s comment on his celebration, the Norwegian responded:</p><p style="margin-left:22.7pt">I saw that he wrote a little about it. Okay, he was disqualified but if we look at the head to head between me and Kyrgios, then it stands 1-0 to me. Does that mean I've won against him? It still stands 1-0 to me. It was nice to win. If I celebrated after the match or not? I don’t care. I was happy I got 90 points and $50,000 in prize money so why wouldn’t I celebrate? It’s his problem that he’s an idiot on court.</p><p>His point is obvious and it’s hard not to be sympathetic – just because Kyrgios is a complete banana on court doesn’t mean that the other player can’t enjoy themselves. Plus, deliberately over celebrating and/or making comments post-match are the only things players can do to make it clear how they feel about Kyrgios’s antics.</p><p>Kyrgios saw Ruud’s comment, and his response can only be described as… well… rude. On Twitter he posted:</p><p style="margin-left:22.7pt">Hey @CasperRuud98 next time you have something to say, I would appreciate you say it to my face, I’m sure you wouldn’t run your mouth so much after that. Until then I will continue to rather watch paint dry then watch you play tennis, boring af.</p><p>The Aussie continues:</p><p style="margin-left:22.7pt">But again, I also understand why you have to keep my name in your mouth, because people dont even realise that you play tennis 😂 goodluck in Milan champ x</p><p>There is a certain irony in tweeting ‘next time you have something to say, I would appreciate you say it to my face’, but all in all we get the point. Kyrgios is exciting and famous, while, in Nick’s eyes, Ruud is a boring old nobody.</p><p>In some sense, I guess everyone is boring if you use Kyrgios as the standard. He’s one of the most uniquely odd players on tour, capable of scintillating but also awful tennis, and, more importantly, his ability to entertain is matched only by his potential for angry outbursts often bordering on the comical.</p><p>It’s fair to say that Ruud has been underwhelming the last couple of seasons, but I’m not sure I would agree that his tennis is inherently boring. When he burst onto the tour winning Sevilla Challenger in 2016 and making the semis at main level in Rio, he certainly wasn’t playing boring tennis. It is true that he won’t go for a round-the-back-reverse-tweener when he can hit a normal volley, and you aren’t likely to see him effing and jeffing or smashing chairs anytime soon, but that’s a good thing... right...?</p><p>This question rests on what you want from tennis, and herein lies the problem. Kyrgios and Ruud represent quite different types of player. For Kyrgios it’s generally all about the entertainment, while Ruud is all business. The two players will appeal to very different kinds of audience. Both offer entertainment, at least in my opinion, but which one you choose will depend on mood and preference. Most would probably choose Kyrgios. I know I would, but then in many ways I have more respect for Ruud. Arguably it shows more character to not behave so erratically and instead treat the sport as a job, while also showing clear determination, passion and grit.</p><p>The obvious comparison of this kind would be Federer and Nadal. The Swiss maestro is clearly more of a shot maker, while Nadal has the grit and determination that clay seems to breed. It would be easy to argue that Federer is far more exciting than Nadal, and many have, yet both have huge fan bases. Again, they appeal to different audiences – some people much prefer the longer, grittier rallies to fast paced, serve orientated play, and vice versa.</p><p>Not to compare Nadal to Ruud, but the point stands, and even if Ruud is relatively unknown at the moment, I imagine that will change in the coming years. He is only 20 years old after all. Moreover, comparing Kyrgios to Federer highlights the obvious difference. If Federer has an outburst on court, it is a shock. He prides himself on not just beautiful tennis, but on being classy in the limelight. Kyrgios, by contrast, seems to pride himself on deliberately not being professional. He regularly mocks the old fashioned, gentlemanly behaviour expected in tennis and relishes confrontation, be it with a player, spectator, umpire, or just about anyone.</p><p>So, puns aside, why is Kyrgios so rude? Most people, having just thrown a chair on court in anger, would probably apologise, make a public statement, and be on their best behaviour for a while. Not Kyrgios, he just gets on with it, as does the ATP, and that’s pretty much the story of his career. As Ruud pointed out, he almost never has significant consequences, and so, unsurprisingly, he continues in the same vein. He knows the people enjoy his antics, probably just as much as his tennis, so why change? After all, we’ve always had bad boys in tennis, and McEnroe never made the effort.</p></div>
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