Our lucky seventh Player to Watch for 2014 is so watchworthy that everyone and their grandmothers have already written a “one to watch” profile about him in the past few weeks. Indeed, his press has been so prevalent that I was almost dissuaded from including him on my PTW roster just because the choice is so ridiculously en vogue (and I’m so ridiculously anti-mainstream).
Alas, even though his profiles have become a dime a dozen, by putting in my own 2 cents I hope to make this profile worth at least 12¢. I guarantee mine will have more nonsense in it. #MyPromiseToYou
According to his first coach, he was a chubby kid who was a bit slow on the court. But his will to win also bore him results at an early age. At age 15, he made the Round of 16 at the 2011 Australian Open Junior Championships. He won a Grade 2 Juniors vs. Herkko Pollanen at the Dunlop Japan Open and had wins over Thiago Montiero and Nikola Milojevic in other ’11 tourneys.
He really began making a name for himself in 2012 on the doubles court, taking back-to-back dubs titles with partner Andrew Harris at the Roland Garros and Wimbledon Junior Championships, although he did post a win over PTW #6, Gianluigi Quinzi, on the singles court at Roehampton in between those two benchmarks (and, you know, also lose to Quinzi on the Wimby singles court. But that’s not important right now.)
So who is this mystery man? Well, you’ve really done very poorly if you’ve not guessed it’s none other than Nick Kyrgios (especially because his name’s just under the title).
Kyrgios made the quarterfinals of the US Open Junior Championships, losing to Filip Peliwo, and followed up his junior Slam exploits with two junior tourney wins (beating PTW #1 Borna Coric in Osaka) and a slammin’ semifinal showing at the Australia F10 Futures, beating compatriot Luke Saville in the quarters.
This year, Kyrgios has nicked up the field in a way that has boys and pros alike licking their wounds, going 21/2 in the juniors and 27/9 in the seniors for an overall winning percentage of over 81%.