Nick Kyrgios Had The Best Reaction To Winning A Giant Pear Trophy
Nick Kyrgios just won his first professional tennis tournament in 14 months. So why does he look so unhappy?
Well, here's the thing. We strongly suspect he's not actually miserable. He's just being Nick Kyrgios, which is to say, he's straying from the script we expect all professional sportspeople to stick to.
Win big thing: be happy. That's how the narrative goes. But Nick Kyrgios is not interested in the way things are supposed to go.
So he holds the giant pear -- the traditional Mexican Open trophy -- and he goes "meh, not even my favourite fruit". Or maybe he's thinking "come on, we're in Mexico, surely we could make this thing a giant avocado".
Or maybe he just doesn't feel like smiling in that particular moment, even though afterwards, he was absolutely beaming.
Whatever the case, we bet that deep down, he knew even in that moment that he produced his best tennis this week, beating world number two and three ranked players (Nadal and Zverev) as well as three other top 50 players.
And deep down, he knows that he did it his way -- with all the usual blow-ups and controversies -- because the fact is, he plays better that way.
There's a very strong argument that it's time to get over the whole "maybe he'll grow up one day" thing.
Nick Kyrgios has grown up. Maybe he hasn't grown up the way you wanted him to, but that's OK, he doesn't need your approval.
Kyrgios didn't win his first tournament in 14 months DESPITE his behavioural blow-ups. He won BECAUSE of them. Because Nick Kyrgios plays best when he is pure Nick Kyrgios, angry outbursts and all.
It's worth remembering that Roger Federer started his career as an angry young man before finding his inner calm and becoming the greatest male player ever to wield a racquet.
Aussie Pat Rafter also started as a yeller before becoming a two-time Grand Slam champion, so polite that he would apologise to his opponent for an errant ball toss.
That was their path, and good for them. And it's a path many want Kyrgios to follow. Seems like half the world is waiting for that fork in life's road where the Canberran takes the smooth path, not the rocky one. People argue that moment must surely be looming. He's almost 24, after all.
Well, guess what?
Nick Kyrgios is always going to be unpredictable, moody and often frustrating. Because that's who he is.
Maybe he'd win more tournaments and go on and win a bunch of Slams if he dropped all the hysterics. And quite possibly he wouldn't. The point, as leading American tennis writer Ben Rothenberg said this week, is to enjoy it while it lasts.
Just like Nick Kyrgios enjoyed winning this tournament -- even if his trophy face in one brief moment suggested otherwise.
As for sombrero face... that was pure elation.