Sledged and made to look silly. Playing Kyrgios is ‘awful’

Sledged from the stands. Booed just for walking on court and then made to feel like a club player by Nick Kyrgios with the sort of tennis that entertains fans but makes other players warn you to be ready to be ‘disrespected’ by the audacity of his play.

Playing Kyrgios on his favourite court in front of his fans is unlike any other tennis experience, according to Liam Broady.

Nick Kyrgios acting every bit the showman against Liam Broady.Credit:Eddie Jim

Kyrgios’ vanquished first round opponent had one word to describe playing him on John Cain arena. Awful.

While fans were definitely crying out the Ronaldo chant of “siu” and not boo for much of the match, Broady also said he was booed when he stepped on court and was sledged during a raucous match.

Full of praise for Kyrgios and his game, Broady said nothing had truly prepared him for Kyrgios’ serve or the crowd experience.

“The way he orchestrates the crowd, again, you see videos on TV, but it doesn’t do it justice when you’re playing in front of an Aussie crowd – Nick Kyrgios’ home court. It was pretty crazy out there. But glad to have got it out of the way,” he said.

Liam Broady’s athleticism wasn’t enough to impress everyone.Credit:Getty Images

“I mean (it was a) good experience and I think that’s the good thing about playing the great players is that you can always learn very quickly about what you need to work on.

“Everyone was telling me, like ‘Oh you’ll really enjoy it, it’s going to be amazing’. But I thought it was absolutely awful. I obviously wanted to go out there and win, so, I mean, losing matches in general isn’t enjoyable.

“The atmosphere was incredible, but it was, it’s the first time I’ve ever walked onto a tennis court and been booed, which for me was a crazy experience.

“You get sledged from the sides like you can’t believe – they don’t pick up on TV. So it was a very, very difficult atmosphere to try and handle and, like I said, he’s incredible at getting them behind him and he plays better for it.

“I think that’s very rare, especially in the sport of tennis. Now people don’t really interact with the crowd like he does and that’s one of his biggest strengths.

“But like I said, I’m glad to have played the match and to have got the experience, and for a Brit to go and play on John Cain against Kyrgios is probably one of the tougher atmospheres in tennis to play. ”

Little of the sledging from the stands was suitable to be repeated, Broady laughed.

“I was pretty surprised at it, to be honest, but at the end of the day as tennis players we’re entertainers and as long as the crowd are enjoying it I think we’re doing our job,” he said.

“Obviously it’s got to be water off a duck’s back. You’re focused on trying to win the match, but it was definitely a different experience.”

Kyrgios’ game is unsettling enough, with his underarm between the legs serve and “tweener” lobs that are so disarming that other players had warned Broady to be ready to be made to look silly.

“You know what Nick’s like and I saw a few of the guys in the lockers before and they said ‘are you ready for the disrespect out there?’ I don’t think it’s personal,” said Broady.

“If I felt like it was personal and it was malicious then I would probably feel like he crossed the line, but as I said, I mean, our job is to entertain the people and for them to enjoy the tennis that they come to watch and he does that and full respect to him. That’s what tennis is about, I think.

“Sometimes he makes you feel stupid with the shots he hits, with the underarm serves through the legs and the little lobs and the dinks and then the big hits, and sometimes you feel like a bit of a club player out there. That’s what he does.

“Again, that’s one of his biggest weapons. I think if you told Nick to stop all of that showmanship and all the stuff that he does, it would take away a big strength of his game. So, I mean, yeah, I am all for it, to be honest, even when it’s against me.”

News, results and expert analysis from the weekend of sport sent every Monday. Sign up for our Sport newsletter.

Most Viewed in Sport

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article