2014 was the year Nick Kyrgios burst onto the scene. He began his year as a wildcard at the Australian Open, Nick defeated Benjamin Becker in round one before losing to Benoit Paire from two sets up.
Nick went onto play a few more ATP events but starred on the Challenger circuit winning 18 of his 20 matches leading up to Wimbledon and won three titles!
It was at the Nottingham Challenger I first watched Nick, he had to come through qualifying and won eight matches in as many days defeating experienced Sam Groth in the final.
I didn’t see Nick’s first match at Wimbledon but I saw his match against Richard Gasquet and it took tense to another level. Having gone out from two sets up to Gasquet’s fellow Frenchman Benoit Paire in Melbourne this time he turned the tables and won from two sets down to win in style!
Nick showed off his big serve and striking forehand on his way to winning in the second round at SW19. Nick set an Open Era record in tennis with his win becoming the first player to win a match having saved an incredible nine match points.
This then set up a debut appearance on Centre Court against Rafael Nadal…
Nick walked on and played like a guy who just wasn’t intimidated by the player or the situation. It was refreshing to see this from such a young player, sometimes we’ve seen the occasion and setting take over but Nick was playing his game to win and not make up the numbers.
The Australian brought flair to the court and plenty of trick shots including this tweener…
This was instinctive and perfectly executed from Nick as was a shot at 3-3 in the third set tie-break which I always remember.
The way Nick played this point at such a pressure moment in the match was exceptional and it epitomised the controlled and ruthless performance of Nick Kyrgios. Everything in this rally caused multiple issues for Rafa, the forehand the backhand inparticular really stayed close to the line and kept Nadal where he wanted. Winning that third set was soo crucial to the win but also I wouldn’t say there was a lull in his performance, he remained composed and in control.
If anything this is shown in Nick’s results when it does come to pressure moments. During that Wimbledon campaign in 2014 he won four tie-breaks two of them against Nadal in that fourth round match he won.
Since then I have continued to watch Nick and enjoy his tennis, besides the drama that comes with it he has shown his quite extraordinary skill and fearless approach and it’s a joy to watch and I can’t wait for tennis to resume and this journey to continue!