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Nick Kyrgios warning, Huge 3, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, subsequent era, Thanasi Kokkinakis, TV rankings, Daniil Medvedev

Not for the primary time lately, Nick Kyrgios has confirmed the voice of purpose on the earth of tennis.

Whereas he has obtained just about each on-court warning and code violation there may be all through his profession to this point, it was off-court he delivered a warning of his personal.

Within the threes of final 12 months’s fairytale run to the Australian Open doubles title with Thanasi Kokkinakis, Kyrgios was requested the place he’d prefer to see the game in five-to-ten years.

“I simply suppose that tennis has accomplished a very poor job with accepting personalities previously,” he mentioned.

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“I believe they’ve form of actually solely marketed three gamers for the final decade and now it is form of caught up with them, so therefore they’ve tried to push a number of the Subsequent Gen guys … tennis has actually struggled to embrace completely different personalities , like when individuals go about it in another way.

“Like one thing about Thanasi after I watch him play singles it glues me to the TV, whether or not he is dropping or whether or not he is successful, it is simply the way in which he goes about it.

“I believe tennis must embrace that extra.”

Totally different personalities clashing typically results in field workplace leisure for viewers, with Kyrgios himself on the heart of many such clashes.

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis’ doubles matches shortly started drawing in viewership numbers akin to prime-time singles matches, whereas Kyrgios’ second-round loss to Daniil Medvedev in singles was the most-watched, non-news program of the night time on the time, with a mean of 886,000 viewers in Australia.

2023 Australian Tennis Open. Day 1. Australian Nick Kyrgios withdraws from the Australian Open attributable to harm. Kyrgios throughout his press convention. Image: David CairdSupply: Information Corp Australia

He added of his blockbuster match with Daniil Medvedev: “You have a look at the match in opposition to me and Medvedev, you could not have two polar reverse form of personalities going up in opposition to it.

“However the precise high quality of tennis was nonetheless to a reasonably good degree I assumed and it was enjoyable to look at. I believe tennis simply must push that I believe, lots. In any other case…”

Kokkinakis chimed in with “dying” earlier than Kyrgios completed with “it is in hassle”.

This 12 months’s Australian Open is probably Kyrgios’ warning coming house to roost, albeit attributable to an ideal storm.

Kyrgios himself proved one of many thunderclaps, withdrawing from the occasion attributable to harm, whereas a number of extra strikes got here within the opening few days of the event as seeded gamers tumbled.

By the shut of the fourth spherical, the Australian Open had misplaced each world quantity ones (Carlos Alcaraz attributable to harm and Iga Swiatek’s defeat), all Australians and each reigning champions (Rafael Nadal within the second spherical and Ash Barty attributable to retirement in 2022 ).

Nadal’s exit uncovered to a evident Australian Open drawback.Supply: AFP

When Swiatek fell to Elena Rybakina within the fourth spherical, it marked the primary main within the Open Period that the highest two seeds in each the lads’s and girls’s singles attracts misplaced previous to the quarterfinals.

It may effectively be a one-off event, but it surely has been probably the most turbulent main in latest reminiscence relating to the established order.

The place final 12 months the Australian public had the title runs of Ash Barty and Rafael Nadal coupled with Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis’ double success to masks for the absence of two of the ‘Huge Three’, this 12 months’s occasion has no such cushion.

There have been some shining lights on account of that energy vacuum, nonetheless.

Key amongst them have been 19-year-old Holger Rune and son-of-a-gun Sebastian Korda, whereas Stefanos Tsitsipas continues to faucet into Melbourne’s sturdy Greek group.

Finally, nonetheless, tennis for the informal viewer is now within the midst of a major identification shift, one that’s maybe absolutely rearing its head at this 12 months’s Australian Open barring the acquainted sight of Novak Djokovic firming for the title.

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The straightforward actuality is there won’t be one other two of Serena and Venus Williams, nor will there be one other three like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

The Huge Three, notably, have had a maintain over males’s tennis fairly not like any maintain in world sport.

The trio have ruthlessly received nearly each trophy on provide for 20 years in a scarcely plausible twenty years of dominance.

Of the final 77 main tournaments, relationship again to 2003, they’ve received 63 of them. Solely Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka have been capable of win a number of majors in that point, incomes three apiece.

The dimensions of the Huge Three’s achievements is unprecedented and tennis’ golden period drawing to an in depth, with Djokovic more likely to be the final of the mohicans.

Federer retired final 12 months and Nadal’s 36-year-old physique appears to be like to lastly be displaying indicators that he would possibly truly be a mere mortal in spite of everything.

However this 12 months’s Australian Open has provided a peek into the post-golden period and, as Kyrgios warned, how tennis adapts to and promotes that long-awaited subsequent wave will show important to the place the game goes subsequent.


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