Wimbledon, Here We Are! Aussie Aussie Aussie!
Tennis Fans, Australians, and Others
Welcome to this article. A lot has changed since I first wrote it in 2015 so I thought I should either delete it or update it as Wimbledon 2022 is now upon us. After some thought I chose the latter, so I hope I succeed in making it still relevant.
If you have even clicked on the title you are probably a tennis fan or an Australian. If not you are either curious to see what this article is about, or you clicked on it by mistake. If it's the latter you may not be able to relate to this or find it very interesting (though if you like poetry there is a poem).
I wrote this while Wimbledon 2015 was being played and I am an avid tennis fan. As well as that we had quite a few Australians competing and among this contingent were the three youngest competitors, Bernard Tomic, Nick Kyrgios, and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Well, 2015 Wimbledon is now history, and none of the Australians mentioned or any other was successful. Since then, though, lots has happened. The most notable being that Ash Barty, an Aussie woman won Wimbledon 2021! Go Ash! She then went on to success at the 2022 Australian open, and then retired at just 26 years of age.
So now it’s up to the Aussie men to try and match Ash’s feats. Come on guys, you can do it. We haven’t had a man win Wimbledon since Layton Hewitt in 2002. Alex de Minaur(24) is actually our top ranked man, followed by Nick Kyrgios(45) Thanasi Kokkinakis(82) is at number five, behind Jordan Thompson(68) and James Duckworth(77). Our highest ranked woman is Ajla Tomljanovic(45).
* the numbers in brackets represent current world rankings.
This article and poem were originally dedicated to only two of these, Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios, but Bernard Tomic has had quite an inglorious fall from fame since 2016. He is currently ranked 344 in the world and been confined to chiefly playing on the challenger circuit, where even there he has tasted very limited success. He now gets more attention off the court than on it, and has clashed with former friend Nick Kyrgios, even challenging him to a boxing match.
Thanasi Kokkinakis had been hampered with ongoing injuries over the last few years so until 2022 his tournaments had been few and far between. However, now he seems to have overcome those and is slowly climbing the rankings once again. In fact he and Nick Kyrgios have joined forces to become a formidable doubles combination, winning the title as Australian Open champions this year, and will now compete at Wimbledon together. (They won the Wimbledon Boy’ Doubles final together in 2013.)
Thanasi’s character and temperament actually make him more deserving of acknowledgement and affirmation than the other two. It just proves the notoriety and bad behaviour makes better news headlines. As a doubles partner, however, maybe he helps balance out the controversy and division that Nick Kyrgios’s antics can cause.
Kyrgios’s explosiveness and unpredictability makes him a danger in the men’s single draw as he has the ability to defeat any of the top ranked men on his day. You just never know what you will get from Nick, but this year, in tournaments leading up to Wimbledon he has wins over Casper Rudd (5), Jannik Sinner (13), Stefanos Tsitsipas (6), and Andre Rublev (8).
I mean no disrespect to Alex de Minaur who is ranked 21 places higher than Nick Kyrgios, and is a fine player in his own right. Alex is one of the fastest players around the court and has a never-say-die attitude, much like his mentor Layton Hewitt. I just feel he lacks the necessary power game to trouble any of the top 10 players. I hope he proves me wrong, after all if Layton could win Wimbledon there is no reason Alex can’t emulate that at some stage.
I feel Australia’s best chances rest with Nick Kyrgios, Thanasi Kokkinakis, and Alexei Popyrin, purely because of their more powerful serves, size, and intimidation factor.
Bernard Tomic (born 21 October 1992) is an Australian professional tennis player who as of 8 June 2015 was ranked world No. 24 by the ATP. Tomic enjoyed a successful junior career in which he won three Orange Bowl titles and two junior grand slam singles titles, the 2008 Australian Open and 2009 US Open. Career highlights include winning the 2013 Apia International Sydney, the 2014 Claro Open Colombia, the quarterfinals at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships, and the 2015 BNP Paribas Open.(wikipedia) *Lost to Novak Djokovic 3rd Round Wimbledon 2015.
Well, things for Tomic didn’t improve in the two years since writing this article. Bernard Tomic has once again become an embarrassment to Australia with his comments after losing his first round match at Wimbledon.
In a press conference following his lacklustre effort, Tomic admitted to faking an injury to get some time off during the match. He also said he felt bored and wasn't physically or psychologically prepared for the match. He basically alluded to not needing the money and already set for life whether he wins or not. For this 1st round loss, Tomic walks away with $60,000 for 1 1/2 hours on the court.
I remember as a teenager and young adult playing sport for the love of it without any thought of monetary rewards. Tomic obviously should give tennis up if he doesn't play for the money or enjoyment.
Nicholas "Nick" Kyrgios (born 27 April 1995) He won the boys' singles title at the 2013 Australian Open and the boys' doubles event at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships. Kyrgios's biggest achievements to date are reaching the quarterfinals of Wimbledon2014, where he defeated Rafael Nadal ranked ATP No 1 and RichardGasquet, (who he lost to in the 3rd round of Wimbledon 2015), and the quarterfinals of the 2015 Australian Open where he lost a 3 set match to Andy Murray. He has since been successful in the men’s doubles, winning the 2022 Australian Open title alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis. (wikipedia)
The Tantrum Twins
Australia cringes on this day
As all fair play has gone away.
It seems good sportsmanship has died,
Laver, Rosewall, Newcome cried.
Our new brigade of tennis stars
Speed around in fancy cars,
Abuse the umpires, swear and curse,
Smash their rackets, even worse.
Wimbledon’s a world event,
Not some court inside a tent.
A place where champions are made,
Where history and tradition laid.
We’ve had our winners in the past,
Cash and Rafter, Hewitt last.
Even now there’s those with class,
Like young Thanasi Kokkinakis .
Bernard Tomic was the first,
Onto the tennis scene he burst.
Unorthodox describes his game,
With that he beat some top 10 names.
Off-court behaviour though he lacks,
From Davis Cup he has been sacked.
He criticised the hand that feeds,
I think he’ll soon regret those deeds.
Nick Kyrgios the latest star
With ability to take him far,
Though on-court he’s a total brat,
Aussies don’t take kind to that.
We are a patriotic lot
And cheer our own no matter what.
They’re entertaining that’s a fact,
But humility is what they lack.
There’s been some tennis brats before,
John McEnroe was one for sure.
But even he would draw the line
And only rarely got a fine.
The greats of tennis play it cool,
They win events, don’t act like fools.
The Joker, Federer, Warwrinka too,
Don’t act too big for tennis shoes.
Tomic and Kygrios should unite,
As a doubles team they’d have some might.
The ‘Tantrum Twins’ the perfect name,
Smashing rackets every game.
I thought they’d make a perfect team,
But that doubles pairing was not seen.
Nick and Thanasi put that to bed,
The ‘Special K’ teamed up instead.
The most hated man in tennis— Chris Chase
Quite a tag has been levelled at Nick Kyrgios by one US media heavyweight Chris Chase after his memorable Wimbledon campaign: “The most hated man in tennis”.
Yet at the same time, he’s been branded a drawcard who continues to spark extraordinary debate in the wake of his controversial exit from the Wimbledon, with the consensus that he is a brilliant talent who placed himself (deliberately or not) in the role of tennis super-villain.
“.... the press and fans will put up with the antics as long as the on-court success backs it up. But if Kyrgios’s game falls off, like Tomic’s, or the headlines become increasingly more for what he says rather than what he does, suddenly the brashness of youth becomes the petulance of a falling star.” (Chris Chase USA Today’s “For the Win”)
One of Wimbledon’s most infamous figures Jeff Tarango - the American hothead who was disqualified in 1995 - offered this take on Kyrgios.
“He’s young, he’s brash and he’s not going to be reined in. I think a lot of players come to Wimbledon and they immediately slap the handcuffs on you, they try to rein you in and they try to tame you and they try to keep you doing their thing. And he’s refusing to do that and I think might not be 100 per cent correct but it’s his way.
I'm sure they (tournament officials) want to even give him bigger fines but they can’t, so it’s probably a two-way street as far as tournaments to Kyrgios. It’s either completely ban what he’s doing or let him go, because at the end of the day he’s going to be selling tickets.
I have a feeling he’s almost like the second coming of a John McEnroe in a way, and how can they let John McEnroe do one thing and not let him (Kyrgios) do another thing.
He could make it a little more Disney, if I had to do any advice I’d make it a little more fun.
But what he’s doing is entertaining and when you talk about polarising it doesn’t matter if people like you or they hate you when you’re on the tennis court. What matters is that the crowd is into it, because that’s what brings you as a player and an athlete a lot more energy.
I think that Kyrgios needs that kind of energy coming from the crowd to play his best.”
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2015 John Hansen