Last week tennis was the in the world headlines for all the wrong reasons. Nick Kyrgios sparked outrage after his comments to Stanislas Wawrinka in Montreal whereas the story of the week should have been the run of Belinda Bencic who put in the performance of the year to defeat Eugenie Bouchard, Caroline Wozniacki, Sabine Lisicki, Ana Ivanovic, Serena Williams and Simona Halep to win her second WTA title of her career.
What Nick Kyrgios said was totally unacceptable and the ATP in my opinion have a responsibility as well as the players to protect the game from bad press like this and fine/ban players. The rules currently in state say a player cannot basically be fined more than $10,000 which I believe is about 1.3% of the prize money Kyrgios has earned this year. Apparently further action could be taken and I think it should be to punish Nick for these comments made to Wawrinka and about two fellow players. Maybe a point deduction or a ban from tournament for a month or so would be a punishment, I did read an article saying he could miss 3 years which I think is way too much.
As a player playing the biggest individual sport in the world you have a responsibility to yourself, fellow players and supporters. 14 months ago no one had heard of Nick Kyrgios and then he goes and beats Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon with that remarkable shot he pulled off and overnight you are in the public eye. In a blink of an eye you go from unknown to worldwide. Kyrgios has been in the press a bit for his behaviour on court and did look like he gave up during a game v Gasquet at Wimbledon. Nick is such a talented player however he has to do his talking on the court but with his tennis racket not with those words he used the other night.
This could get out of control quite quickly. The other night in Cincinnati in a qualifying match Thanasi Kokkinakis (the player Kyrgios mentioned) got into a bit of a heated exchange with Ryan Harrison forcing umpire Mohamed Lahyani off the chair and onto the court and even had to come down again at the end of match at the handshake with tensions still running high.
Whilst all this was going in Montreal and Cincinnati the real tennis story of the week was happening in Toronto and deserved more headlines than it got as Belinda Bencic probably went on the best run any players has achieved since 2007 when Novak Djokovic ranked at 4 in the world beat the top 3 in the world (Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal & Roger Federer) on his way to winning the Rogers Cup.
Belinda had to beat Eugenie Bouchard, Caroline Wozniacki, Sabine Lisicki, Ana Ivanovic, Serena Williams and Simona Halep to win the title which is incredible! All but one of these players have been in the top 10 in the world, three of them have been or are world number one’s, two have won Grand Slams and all of them have been in a Grand Slam final! It was a truly exceptional week from the Swiss teenager. She’s got her feet on the ground and knows what she has to do to get to the very top. To celebrate her win against Serena Williams she had a cupcake!
I understand that every player deals with things differently and have different personalities however like I said as a professional sports player you have a responsibility. Obviously what Kyrgios said was going to make the headlines however this week everyone should be talking about the brilliance of Belinda Bencic in Toronto last week.