Australia’s Nick Kyrgios at 2020 ATP Mexican Open in Acapulco.
Hector Vivas/Getty Images
When it comes to the coming US Open tennis Grand Slam in New York and the star players who have indicated they will be entering the event, the unabashed and overly eccentric Nick Kygrios exhibits all the characteristics of Don Quixote tilting relentlessly at windmills.
What is more, the uncompromising, often irrational Aussie proclaims he will not be playing in the tournament himself out of respect for the 155 000 and more Americans who have died in their country as a result of the current coronavirus pandemic that is blighting the world.
An admirable motivation, no doubt, but tempered in Kyrgios’ case by the fact that it emerges from the same mouth that issued lewd, unsubstantiated sexual allegations against the former girlfriend of amiable Swiss exponent Stan Wawrinka to unsettle his opponent during the course of a Masters 1000 match between the pair in Canada.
But more relevant, perhaps, in questioning Kyrgios’ anti-Flushing Meadows campaign is the fact that he seems oblivious of the intricate, uncompromising provisos the United States Tennis Association – and more particularly, perhaps, the New York State government – have implemented in the efforts to counter the ravages of the ongoing pandemic.
Also, Kyrgios gives no indication he is aware of the commendable progress New Yorkers have made since transforming their state from the most devastating damaged by the pandemic in the United States to the one that is presently least affected by the menace – and possibly now the only state in the country in which a major international sports event can be staged with confidence.
Indeed, such are the reassured list of overall health rules, with the absence of spectators and tight accommodation demands only two of many of the restrictions, that seven of the world’s top 10 players, including world No 1, Novak Djokovic, have already entered the Flushing Meadows tournament.
Opting out, however, is world No2 and defending champion Rafael Nadal, while 20-times Grand Slam winner, Roger Federer, will miss out while he continues his recover from two recent knee operations.
But further confirmed among the entrants for the US Open are South Africa’s two top-ranked players, Lloyd Harris and Kevin Anderson, who are currently in full scale training in Cape Town and Miami respectively.