Remember back in the 70's and 80's when the likes of Jonny Mac, Jimbo Connors, Vitas Gerulaitis and Ilie 'Nasty' Nastase stole the limelight with their on court antics ? Well once those guys got too old to play the game became rather robotic and lacked personality. We then saw players such as Sampras rule the court with one thing in mind, victory, yet no real entertainment factor to go with it.
Now it seems the game is changing again.
Just this last week we saw Nick Kyrgios, the walking tennis billboard say almost the unimaginable about an opponent and the media outlets went berserk. A few days later Nick's Aussie mate Kokkinakis was involved in an altercation with American Ryan Harrison in the qualifying event at Cincinatti.
By all reports Ryan wanted to belt the Aussie due to some apparent words spoken on court during the match. Fair dinkum is feisty tennis actually on the way back again ?
Ernests Gulbis of Latvia rather bluntly said some time ago that he felt tennis and in particular tennis interviews had become a little lame with Fed, Novak and the like all saying perfect things all the time. He may have had a point.
Now apparently Nick K has said TOO much but when you really look at it all it really just typifies what tennis is. It's a boxing match just like the great Andre Agassi once said albeit around 60 or 70 feet from your opponent. How much sledging goes on during a boxing bout you reckon ey ??
Nope, I reckon that tennis is at last back on the radar, perhaps for all the wrong reasons according to some but at least it's back on. It went missing from the radar like something flying over the Bermuda Triangle many moons ago. It may have just been found once again and the Aussie boys can take a lot of the credit for it.
In Australia we have more than an ounce of arrogance about us when it comes to sport and guys like Pat Cash and Lleyton Hewitt can take a lot of the credit for that as far as tennis is concerned. There probably has been no better two examples of tennis arrogance like those two mentioned as they were in a class of their own.
Nick K is way more bad mouthed than his mate Thanasi but unfortunately for the latter he has been brought into it all due to his loud mouthed mate. In fact Thanasi is like a church mouse compared to Nick K. If you have read the transcript it seems that Ryan Harrison may have got a little upset simply due to the fact that the publicity lately has all been about the Aussies, he was missing out on all the fun. He's now into the toy box full of goodies as well.
Tennis is back, it's entertaining, it's feisty, it reminds me of the good old days when the sport owned some personalities and some good times rather than just the big pay cheques and the perfect post match interviews.
I for one am happy again.........