Tag Archive: Nick Kyrgios


Sup, peeps. And jeez, what an uninspired bunch on this week’s W.A.T.C.H. List, for the most part. Almost as uninspired as the Super Bowl, from which I’ve yet to recover.

But enough about me. Let’s have a look at Who’s Achieved Their Career Highs This Week:

Player NATIONALITY Age New High Why
Bradley Klahn USA 23 80 others lost points
Jesse Huta Galung NED 28 92 others lost points
Dusan Lajovic SRB 23 101 Davis Cup – R1 L
Nick Kyrgios AUS 18 157 Davis Cup – R1 L
Matt Reid AUS 23 183 Burnie W
Tak Khunn Wang FRA 22 265 Egypt F2 SF
Juan Ignacio Londero ARG 20 268 Chitre R2
Jarmere Jenkins USA 23 278 Burnie SF
David Rice GBR 25 307 GBR F2 F
Jose Pereira BRA 23 322 Egypt F2 SF
Martin Vaisse FRA 26 324 Israel F2 F
Roberto Ortega-Olmedo ESP 22 330 others lost points
Joris de Loore BEL 20 360 others lost points
Dennis Novak AUT 20 364 others lost points
Wilson Leite BRA 22 371 others lost points
Yoshihito Nishioka JPN 18 377 others lost points
Christian Garin CHI 17 379 others lost points
Alexey Vatutin RUS 21 380 others lost points
Ivan Arenas-Gualda ESP 23 385 others lost points
Thanasi Kokkinakis AUS 17 399 Davis Cup – R1 L

Woof. What a bunch of others-points losers, by and large. Since there were only two Challengers last week — Burnie and Chitre — there were scant opportunities from which to scavenge ATPoints. And most who did well in those two tournaments didn’t gain enough to points to post a career high.

So we’ll ignore the OLPers, as ever.

Therefore, first on this week’s List are a pair of peeps who — sort of like kids on recreational soccer teams — got trophies (in the form of ranking points) just for showing up for their teams’ games. Since Davis Cup World Group participants receive 10 points win or lose, Dusan Lajovic, Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis all were boosted to career high heights despite losing efforts on the world stage.

Although, it must be noted, none of said losses were anything to sneeze at. Lajovic took a set off of World No. 3 and Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka before falling in four. He also won a dead rubber* against Michael Lammer.

It Ain't No Laj - Dusan Celebrates His Win Vs. Lammer

It Ain’t No Laj – Dusan Celebrates His Win Vs. Lammer

Kyrgios went down to No. 9 Richard Gasquet and No. 30 Gael Monfils, and Kokkinakis was nak’ed*** down by the capable hands of No. 39 Julian Benneteau.

The biggest winner of the week was Aussie Matt Reid, who took the title at the $50,000 Burnie Challenger. The 23-year-old has come full circle from the time less than a month ago when he said that he didn’t “know how to win anymore.”

Do You Reid Me? Matt Reid Turns It Around

Do You Reid Me? Matt Reid Turns It Around In Burnie

He entered the tourney on a six-match losing streak and proceeded to win five matches, clinch the championship and attain a personal best ranking in the process. Not a bad effort. As ever, Aceland Tennis has all the details of that match and all things Aussie.

Lastly, a special mention goes out to former University of Virginia standout Jarmere Jenkins, who showed some scorching form in Burnie, making it to the semis before he burned out vs. Hiroki Moriya. Earlier last week I was pointed to this terrific Q&A with the erstwhile ITA National Player of the Year.

The Rankings Door Is Now A Jar (photo by UVA Athletics)

The Rankings Door Is Now A Jar (photo by UVA Athletics)

In the above-linked article Jenkins says, “Being an elite athlete is all about how well you’re willing to suffer.” In his remarkable 6-2 6-7(7) 7-6(13) quarterfinal win against Matthew Barton, in which he recovered from a double fault at match point in a second set that he eventually lost, Jenkins seemed to really put those words to the test, earning an eventual career high ranking in the process.

*my second least favorite phrase in tennis, just behind “Red Foo**”

**which is my second least favorite color of Foo, just behind brown

***pronounced “knocked down”, of course. Why? What were you thinking it was?

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.

Really Any Excuse To Include A Pic of Pollanen and His Pink Bjorn Borg Undies

Any Excuse To Include This Pollanen Pic In His Pink Borg Undies

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 Quinzion 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).

Nick And Andy Use The Wimby Trophy As A Wishbone

Nick And Andy Use The Wimby Trophy As A Wishbone

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%.

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It’s a big week, and a big list, so let’s cut right to it:

Player NATIONALITY Age New High
Federico Delbonis ARG 23 56
Edouard Roger-Vasselin FRA 29 64
Jack Sock USA 21 78
Julian Reister GER 27 88
Tim Smyczek USA 25 91
Dominic Thiem AUT 20 146
Facundo Bagnis ARG 23 148
Facundo Arguello ARG 21 152
Marco Cecchinato ITA 21 161
Radu Albot MDA 23 174
Nick Kyrgios AUS 18 177
Norbert Gombos SVK 23 195
Blaz Rola SLO 23 201
Marton Fucsovics HUN 21 230
Enrique Lopez-Perez ESP 22 236
Lorenzo Giustino ITA 22 250
Daniel Cox GBR 23 254
Valery Rudnev RUS 25 257
Hiroki Kondo JPN 30 276
Chase Buchanan USA 22 282
Kimmer Coppejans BEL 19 286
Thiago Monteiro BRA 19 287
Mikhail Biryukov RUS 21 292
Bjorn Fratangelo USA 20 293

Normally the list only (arbitrarily) charts career high rankings from #60 to #300ish, but I’m including Federico Delbonis for sentimental reasons. And because he’s the highest-ranked player who follows me on Twitter.  So IF YOU WANT TO GET ON THIS LIST, TOP 60, YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW ME!

Because You Gotta Have Fede

Because You Gotta Have Fede

I also listed Delbo because he’s Argentinian, just like 33% of rest of this List’s Top 10.  As with every week, the Argies keep on comin’; since I started the List again about a month ago, there’s not been a single week that it hasn’t included at least one Argentine, and usually it’s many more than that.  In fact, I doubt there will be a week in the next few months in which the Argies won’t barge into the List.

Since I didn’t highlight him last week, I want to highlight Tim Smyczek this week, as breaking into the Top 100 was a big goal of his.  Last week he entered the Top 100 right at 100, but this past week’s Sacramento Challenger finalist showing (l. to Donald Young) pushes him well into the Top 100 at #91.

Speaking of The Donald (as I was above in parentheses), I paid everyone a disservice on Twitter when I broadcast my calculation that he’d be returning to the Top 100 at ~#98 as a result of his Sacramento title.  I still don’t know exactly how I missed it (it seems 10 points came off his ranking, but I didn’t see that as of last night), but Donald tragically languishes around #103 this week — not 98.

While it’s still far from Young’s career high, he’s been on quite the buttery roll lately; he’s now won ten consecutive matches for the first time in his pro career.

A Young Champion

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Welcome back to the series everyone is talking about*!  The one in which we examine the questions: how advantageous is it to have the home court on the ATP tour?  Does it confer the same enormous weight as it does in team sports like football and basketball?  (You know, the pressing issues of the day.)

Let’s have a look at the data:

Player Home Hard Court Win% Away Hard Court Win%  Home  Clay  Win %  Away  Clay  Win % Home Grass Win % Away Grass Win % Overall Home Win % Overall Away Win % % of matches played at home
Matt Ebden 58.14% 59.04% 0.00% 40.63% 68.97% 61.54% 58.64% 56.42% 35.37%
James Duckworth 46.30% 58.82% 60.00% 70.33% 60.00% 50.00% 49.28% 65.69% 33.50%
John Millman 55.74% 68.70% 69.23% 53.42% 85.71% 45.45% 60.49% 60.48% 27.84%
Nick Kyrgios 77.27% 65.45% N/A 50.00% 0.00% 50.00% 73.91% 63.93% 27.38%
Sam Groth 59.80% 56.69% 68.75% 52.08% 70.00% 67.39% 62.32% 57.82% 31.94%
Matt Reid 59.81% 50.89% 41.67% 63.33% 44.44% 46.67% 57.03% 55.50% 36.99%
J.P. Smith 28.57% 70.73% N/A 60.00% 50.00% 50.00% 31.25% 64.54% 10.19%
Greg Jones 58.06% 53.90% 77.78% 58.93% 66.67% 55.26% 61.04% 54.32% 35.65%
Matthew Barton 62.07% 56.52% 42.86% 40.00% 42.86% 0.00% 56.56% 55.56% 65.95%
Ben Mitchell 65.79% 62.16% 64.71% 25.00% 75.00% 0.00% 66.19% 51.52% 58.40%
Player Home HC Wins Home HC Loss Away HC W Away HC Loss Home Clay W Home Clay L Away Clay W Away Clay L Home Grass W Home Grass L Away Grass W Away Grass L
Matt Ebden 75 54 111 77 0 4 13 19 20 9 24 15
James Duckworth 25 29 20 14 6 4 64 27 3 2 6 6
John Millman 34 27 79 36 9 4 39 34 6 1 5 6
Nick Kyrgios 17 5 36 19 0 0 2 2 0 1 1 1
Sam Groth 61 41 89 68 11 5 25 23 14 6 31 15
Matt Reid 64 43 57 55 5 7 57 33 4 5 7 8
J.P. Smith 4 10 58 24 0 0 12 8 1 1 7 7
Greg Jones 72 52 83 71 14 4 33 23 8 4 21 17
Matthew Barton 54 33 26 20 12 16 2 3 3 4 0 2
Ben Mitchell 75 39 46 28 11 6 5 15 6 2 0 5

In Part I of the Home and Away series, we saw that American players spend the majority of their year at home. Even Wayne Odesnik, who spends the most time playing abroad, spends 64.4% of his match time in North America.

This time around, we see the Aussies are just the opposite**.  Since there aren’t enough events (and enough points on offer) inside of Australia, the Oz contingent must hit the road to ply their trade***. And once they’re overseas, they try to stay awhile; these guys (the smart ones, anyway) aren’t going to fly 24 hours to a destination only to play one event.  That eventually would be fiscal, if not physical, suicide.

So away they stay.  Whereas the American Top 20 play an average of 81% of their matches at home, the Aussie Top 10 (of those who still play regularly on the Challenger/Futures Pro Circuit) only play an average of 36% of their matches in Australia.  Of that bunch, the person most like Marge Simpson’s husband (in that he’s the biggest homer) is also the only guy to play more than 37% of his matches at home. That would be 21-year-old Matthew Barton (with a whopping 66% of his matches played at home), and this year even he has played the majority of his tennis Up Over (as opposed to, you know, Down Under).

Homer and Matthey have never been seen in the same place, which I think is kinda suspicious.

Homer and Matthew have never been seen in the same place, which I think is kinda suspicious.

Although one must reconsider the definition of “home tennis” when one considers the case of one John-Patrick “J.P.” Smith. The 24-year-old Townsville, Australia native made another home for himself in Knoxville, USA, where he was a four-time ITA All-American in singles and doubles at the University of Tennessee.  Hmmmm, an Australian All-American, eh?  The plot thickens.

When we look at the numbers, we see that J.P.’s only ostensibly played 10% of his matches at “home” (i.e. Australia).  And he performs far better on non-Australian soil — he wins 64.5% of his “away” matches, as opposed to his 31% in Oz.  It seems as if the table is inverted where J.P.’s concerned, and his true tennis home is much more Americentric these days.

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Which Teen(s) Will Make The Top 200 Before Turning 20?

Today’s post finds me musing about teens in the Top 200.  As you tennis geniuses (genii?) probably already know, the average age of the Top 100 keeps on rising and rising (it currently sits at 27ish). Today, men over 30 are reaping tremendous results on the ATP World Tour, and gone are the days of the Beckers (Boris, not Benji), the Kricksteins, and the Ariases (Arii?) bashing their way into the Top 20 whilst still comfortably in their teens.

As of this writing, there is only one teen in the Top 200 — the 18-year-old Australian wunderkind Nick Kyrgios at #188.  Dominic Thiem almost joined him for a spell, but turned 20 just six days before hitting the T200*.  19-year-old Lucas Pouille of France is poised right on the cusp of Top 200dom at #202.  It seems reasonable to expect the Frenchman will join Kyrgios soon, and probably well before he turns 20 on the 23rd of February, 2014.

Which leads me to wonder: which teen(s) do you think have what it takes to make it and join Nick and (possibly) Lucas before he turns 20?  Will it be:

Peli-WHOA!

Filip It And Reverse It

Filip Peliwo – the Boys’ US Open and Wimbledon champion and junior #1 (on 7-Sept 2012) has been adjusting fairly well to life on the pro circuit, with a 29/19 record, a challenger semifinal (Lexington) and a Futures final to his name this year.  At ATP #283, he has a ways to go to make the Top 200, and just over four months to do it. On the plus side, he only has 7 ATP points coming off between now and then. The gregarious Canadian will turn 20 on the 30th of January, 2014.  Odds of making it: 14%

Kimmer, Kimmer, Chicken Dinner

Kimmer, Kimmer, Chicken Dinner

Kimmer Coppejans – the Belgian 19-year-old was the Junior #1 just a couple of months before Peliwo grabbed the top spot, and beat the Canadian to claim the 2012 Roland Garros Boys title. Kimmer’s also having a better year than Filip, at 41/18 with a Challenger SF (Meknes) and 5 Futures titles on his 2013 CV.  He’s now ranked just 10 rungs below Peliwo at #293, but he has almost 10 days more to get into Top 200ville; his 20th birthday falls on the 7th of February, 2014. And he has precisely 0 (zero) ATP points coming off his ranking before then.  Just last month he said his end-of-year goal was to make the Top 300.  Methinks he needs a new goal. Odds of making it: 27%

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