Kyrgios ends rollercoaster year on a high
It has been a turbulent year for Nick Kyrgios fans, but they should find some comfort in the knowledge that the 21 year old will round off 2016 with an unfamiliar sense of stability.
Kyrgios began the year with a stunning victory at the Hopman Cup alongside Daria Gavrilova and continued his fine form at the Open 13 in Marseille where he held serve for the entire tournament, eventually defeating Marin Čilić in the final.
The controversial Aussie failed to progress further than the fourth round at any of the Grand Slam events in 2016 but was recalled to the Davis Cup squad in September following his removal from the team in 2015.
In October, he recorded his finest victory to date – winning the Japan Open in Tokyo, but the Australian public barely had time to swallow the victory (let alone salivate) when Kyrgios became the first player since John McEnroe to be banned from professional fixtures due to instances of ‘tanking’ only weeks later at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
Despite currently sitting in tennis limbo, Kyrgios will bow out of 2016 with his best ever ranking since his transition into the professional game in 2013.
Kyrgios, who is currently without a fulltime coach, sits at 13th in the men’s singles rankings and could well see his position improve provided he can stay on the court in 2017.
While fans and players are queuing to give their (generally negative) verdict of the country’s highest ranked player, Pete Sampras has expressed a gentler outlook and earlier this week even flirted with the idea of coaching Kyrgios himself.
The 14-time grand slam winner was renowned for his quiet demeanor and direct exposure to a temperament entirely different to his own would perhaps be healthy for the talented Aussie.
With no major tournaments scheduled for the remainder of the year, followers and critics will be kept waiting for the next chapter of this enigmatic young man’s story.