Why is Nick Kyrgios so popular?

Nick Kyrgios inbetween games

Tennis coach Dmitry Tursunov feels Nick Kyrgios sells out stadiums because he is authentic and doesn’t project a sterilised media-friendly persona.

Tursonov says that the powers that be in the sport try to ‘neuter’ players and that has created a sterile environment.

However, Kyrgios appeals to a broad base of fans because he hasn’t lost who he is, according to the former coach of Emma Raducanu.

Tursonov feels that Kyrgios’ antics stand out that much more because other players are afraid to show their emotions on court.

“In tennis they are trying to neuter the emotions out of the sport,” Tursunov said on the Craig Shapiro Tennis Podcast.

“Players are afraid to show their personality, to say their minds, because nowadays anything you say can be twisted.

“You say that ‘I played great today’, someone’s going to say that, ‘oh, he sounds cocky, he’s putting his opponent down.’ So players in general are just afraid to be themselves.

“That’s why I think Nick Kyrgios sells out every freaking stadium that he plays in because he hasn’t been neutered enough. He’s been fined enough, but he doesn’t mind it. He’s a pretty strong personality if you ask me.”

Tursonov believes that too much is made of Kyrgios’ antics; feeling that the Aussie firebrand acts like a pantomime villain or pro-wrestling heel figure who gets the crowd engaged with the action.

“I mean, what’s the problem if a player is just throwing a middle finger to the crowd? It looks bad, the whole crowd is booing, but you just got the crowd emotionally involved,” he said.

“You got them to hate someone, to feel something, versus can’t fart in the stands, can’t open a bag of chips, throw a racket.”

Kyrgios has been absent from the ATP Tour for the entire 2023 season so far but has provided an update after his knee surgery.

Currently taking it day by day with my knee and building up load… trying to get back to where I was.” Kyrgios said in an Instagram live session earlier this week.

Kyrgios also said that the hardest thing about being in tennis is staying true to himself in a cookie cutter environment.

“Honestly, me being the personality that I am… in a sport that likes to stay in a small little box.”

Kyrgios’ agent has indicated that the 2022 Wimbledon runner-up was hoping to be back in action at Indian Wells, the first ATP 1000 event of the 2023 season.

READ MORE: Nick Kyrgios casts doubt over his comeback date after cryptic answer