Nick Kyrgios wants respect. After his second-round Wimbledon victory Nick Kyrgios bemoaned that people don’t give him the respect he deserves. "I just wanted to...prove to people that, like, I'm really good. I feel like I just don't have the respect sometimes, you know." Kyrgios, who appears to have an endless supply of headlines and controversy is finding respect hard to come by.
In the tournament's first round, Kyrgios won an epic five-set match where he was fined for spitting in the direction of a spectator and called a linesperson a 'snitch'. He even managed to find time to complain that he's become a 'player who cops it very hard' from the crowds.
In his third-round match he demanded his opponent be defaulted, when the umpire declined to do so Kyrgios demanded to speak to his supervisor and threatened not to play until his demands were met. He called the umpire dumb and ridiculed him saying, "People want to see me, not you. You don't know how to play so how about you don't tell me how to play. I don't care bro, bro people want to see me, not you, so don't tell me what to do."
His opponent called him a bully, he was fined $4000 for swearing, just another day at the office for Saint Nick who at this rate will need to win Wimbledon just to pay off all his fines.
Tennis fans have see it all before from Kyrgios. Fined at Wimbledon in 2015 for smashing a racket, fined and suspended in 2016 for a lack of effort after throwing a match. In 2018 he was fined for making an obscene gesture and defaulted in 2019 after throwing a chair onto the court in a fit of rage. That's the just the highlights, added together Kyrgios' total career fines amount to approximately $800,000.
And he wonders why he has no respect?
During his wild week at Wimbledon Kyrgios reminded us that he’s one of the most important people in tennis. Not a bad claim for someone with a world ranking of 40. Rafael Nadal has won 22 grand slams, the most of all time. Novak Djokovic has 20, and Kyrgios, the self-proclaimed ‘most important person in tennis,’ is yet to get on the board. Maybe tonight is Nick’s time to shine!
Kyrgios would do well to learn from Ash Barty, someone loved and respected across the board. Barty won three grand slams and held the world number one ranking for two years but we never heard her telling us how great she was. She has universal respect and has never needed to ask for it. Why do we like her so much? Her humility has a lot to do with it.
There’s something hardwired in humanity that detests displays of arrogance. We intuitively respect those who don’t blow their own trumpet or complain about a lack of respect. Christian faith teaches that people are made in God’s image and that Christ humbled himself by taking our place on the cross. When people display selfless humility, they reflect the loving nature of Christ, no wonder we warm to such people!
We can expect fireworks when Kyrgios steps out onto the court for tonight’s Wimbledon Men’s final, I won’t be cheering but I do hope he serves up some humility.