Mens Tennis Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Alan Attwood, a really respected tennis writer for many years coined a phrase for the feral NK supporters at the NK v Thiem match - "Nickheads". bahahahaha
Great read - I agree with everything he says, except the part about underarm serves - they are legal & a legitimate tactic, especially against the players who return from so far back.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Here's the article as for some people it will be behind a firewall

All show and no respect: a night with the Nickheads

Alan Attwood is a former tennis writer for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

It was the best of nights, it was the worst of nights. Friday at the Australian Open; last session before lockdown. The first time my wife, Kerry, and I would see Nick Kyrgios in action live. His opponent: last year’s runner-up, Dominic Thiem. So why, with the match still in the balance, did we walk away?

This had never happened before. We’ve seen matches at all grand slams. My own experience of Opens goes back to 1972: our Evonne at Kooyong. But never before had I been amongst such a toxic crowd. Who’s to blame? Kyrgios himself and his mostly male supporters, whom I’ll call Nickheads. Also Open organisers, for pandering to them.

It all began well. We arrived mid-afternoon, found our seats at John Cain Arena, watched the admirable Naomi Osaka – so zen she took time out to rescue a butterfly. Then a stroll and meal before returning. Kerry took pictures and tweeted her delight at being there.

Then it started. After the first point, won by Kyrgios, a bloke two seats along stood up, yelled “Come on Nick!” and clapped loudly. Then kept clapping until he was only one making any noise. People tittered. He’d been noticed – exactly what he wanted. This is how it went. After every point.

Kyrgios broke Thiem’s serve. A feat deserving applause. But not enough for Nick. Changing ends, he revved up the crowd. This is what he does, in between thumping aces and pulling off incredible shots. He’s lauded as a showman, a drawcard. He’s in more ads than Alex de Minaur, who’s ranked higher, or even Ash Barty, who’s actually won a major title.

I’ve tried to ignore Kyrgios until his achievements matched the hype. His talent has been obvious since he beat Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2014 to reach the quarter-finals. But he’s never got further since. Yet he makes news because he says stuff, like calling Novak Djokovic “a tool”. I had a two-word response to that: ‘pot’ and ‘kettle’.

I’m told he’s good for tennis. Attracts a new generation. Many of them were there on Friday night, as Kyrgios played on the same court for the third successive time. Thiem, meanwhile, was on his third court for the week. Open organisers condoned this. Thiem later described it as “one of the tougher challenges in tennis to face Nick ... on his favourite court”.

I wonder what John Cain himself – a decent gentleman who loved tennis – would have made of all the Nickheads, many fuelled by both testosterone and alcohol, standing to tell Thiem his serve wasn’t as good as Nick’s, even sing out “Kill him!”

It reminded me of Donald Trump’s mob. And just as Trump lost control, so did Kyrgios, who took his fans to peak delirium when he clinched the second set with an underarm serve. But later, when the match started to swing against him, he turned on one especially voluble Nickhead. He urged the umpire to assert himself more as if – again like Trump – he wasn’t the one to blame.

Back in our section, things had gone downhill. Kerry urged me to ignore Nickhead No. 1. When I snapped and shooshed him he told us to go home. He had many mates: one beside him on drinks duty; others who came for selfies after a security guard, with admirable restraint, told him to tone it down. “They want to throw me out for supporting you, Nick!” he yelled.

No. The guard intervened because of a lack of respect. For a dignified Thiem. For other paying spectators, not least the elderly lady who packed up and left before we did. Respect for tennis. Kyrgios claims to respect its finest players, Federer and Nadal. But they have never shamelessly played to their fans.

Nor do they toss in underarm serves. It’s the same as in cricket: legal but unethical. Nothing was reported about this underhanded tactic. It was “gutsy Nick”, “brave Nick”, “what a ride it was with Nick”. The crowd was “raucous”; “whipped into a frenzy”. Actually, it was ugly and embarrassing. The mob waved many Australian flags.

I’m not advocating a return to all-whites. I’ve experienced noisy crowds, from Davis Cup in Rome to Budweiser nights in New York. I’ve seen and heard wacky Swedes in facepaint and oy-oy-oying ‘Fanatics’. But there was no humour on Friday. Just fist-pumping aggro. So we left.

The irony is that Kyrgios, in many ways, is a great sportsman. He applauds opponents’ winners. But he needs to listen to Aretha instead of whatever else he has in his headphones: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. And he has some decisions to make. Does he want to be a showman or a champion? Because if what he served up on Friday night is the future, only Nickheads will be there to watch him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
764 Posts
Excellent post and good read thanks - I had not thought about it but there is a trumpian feel to the idol worship of a mediocre tennis player and mediocre business person. Crazy people.
Mediocre compared to who?

Could you do any better...in tennis or business?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,546 Posts
Yeah the underarm serve part kind of taints the rest of what he’s saying. Unethical? Give me a break. It’s not like underarm serves are guaranteed to work and people choose not to do them out of respect. It can work here and there and it’s a good way to keep the returner honest. Nothing wrong with it whatsoever IMO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,741 Posts
Finally somebody from his own country (though a born Scot) also condemning Kyrgios, even if its take of "Trumpian mob" is a well-known accusation by leftists/liberals.
I guess he just rather wants to be a showman.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Budadiii

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,064 Posts
Nor do they toss in underarm serves. It’s the same as in cricket: legal but unethical. Nothing was reported about this underhanded tactic. It was “gutsy Nick”, “brave Nick”, “what a ride it was with Nick”. The crowd was “raucous”; “whipped into a frenzy”. Actually, it was ugly and embarrassing. The mob waved many Australian flags.

I’m not advocating a return to all-whites. I’ve experienced noisy crowds, from Davis Cup in Rome to Budweiser nights in New York. I’ve seen and heard wacky Swedes in facepaint and oy-oy-oying ‘Fanatics’. But there was no humour on Friday. Just fist-pumping aggro. So we left.

The irony is that Kyrgios, in many ways, is a great sportsman. He applauds opponents’ winners. But he needs to listen to Aretha instead of whatever else he has in his headphones: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. And he has some decisions to make. Does he want to be a showman or a champion? Because if what he served up on Friday night is the future, only Nickheads will be there to watch him.
I find the underarm part rubbish. Another weird one was to take up and leave from a 5 set thriller, even after acknowledging that Nick himself was a great sportsman applauding Thiem's winners. And finally the take that in the future only Nickheads would be there to support him (not gonna be the case).

Don't agree with any of it. Writer comes across as too much of a traditionalist contrary to myself.

I do agree that the crowd didn't behave in the best of ways. Some of the stuff he mentioned here such as the "kill him" shouts; clearly condemnable behaviour with no place in tennis, or any sports really, even sth like MMA. So I find he did have a point about excessive behaviour, and perhaps a piece like this will ignite some discussion, but as said I have different standards or thresholds than the writer regarding the type of behaviour that is acceptable. The underarm part is some sort of giveaway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,844 Posts
Cry me a river. He sounds like the boring, old grandpa who's not hip enough to get down with the kids, moaning that the girls are screaming at the Beatles. A sneering Victor Meldrew type. They cheered did they? oh no, someone phone the police. His accusation that Nick wants to be a showman is completely illogical; somebody should tell him that tennis is, in fact, entertainment and the players are the showmen. For having testosterone and alcohol in their bodies these fans should be hung, drawn and quartered. I've never seen anything so terrible in my life. Someone will tell me they were swearing soon. God forbid that this guy ever finds himself at a boxing match; he'll have a coronary.
As for moaning at underarm serves.... So it's Ok to return from Alaska, but not ok to uderarm serve. Please tell me that noone on MTF believes in this BS.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Murray Mint

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,863 Posts
What has the 2020’s come to & thank God i don’t live in the phony ‘utopia’ called Aus. 🤦🏽
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,885 Posts
Cry me a river. He sounds like the boring, old grandpa who's not hip enough to get down with the kids, moaning that the girls are screaming at the Beatles. A sneering Victor Meldrew type. They cheered did they? oh no, someone phone the police. His accusation that Nick wants to be a showman is completely illogical; somebody should tell him that tennis is, in fact, entertainment and the players are the showmen. For having testosterone and alcohol in their bodies these fans should be hung, drawn and quartered. I've never seen anything so terrible in my life. Someone will tell me they were swearing soon. God forbid that this guy ever finds himself at a boxing match; he'll have a coronary.
As for moaning at underarm serves.... So it's Ok to return from Alaska, but not ok to uderarm serve. Please tell me that noone on MTF believes in this BS.
Totally agree. Sounds like an overly sensitive dullard. Cringeworthy reference to Donald Trump... of course.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top