Wimbledon presenter Lee McKenzie gives the inside story on what it’s like to interview ‘fascinating’ Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios is one of the most controversial players in tennis and you either love or you hate him, but what is it like to interview the mercurial Australian straight after a match at Wimbledon?
BBC presenter Lee McKenzie has been conducting on-court interviews at the All England Club for several years and it is not always easy to get someone to open up to you immediately after they have won a clash on the hallowed ground at SW19.
McKenzie recently appeared on the award-winning motoring podcast Fuelling Around, powered by Andrew Flux, and was asked to give the inside story on Kyrgios and replied: “He is fascinating. I did a lot of interviews with him at Wimbledon last year. I was the first person on court.
“There was one moment, he’d had a big match, he’d gone through, and he was just sitting in his chair, sort of head in hands. They were saying in my ear; ‘You need to get on court, we’ve got to do this interview.’
“He was just so in a moment and he’s an interesting person. I, just for whatever reason at that time, thought if I hurry him he’ll do it because he has to do it, but I just stayed off the grass. I could hear the commentators filling, I think they hated me, and I could see them out of the corner of my eye in their little box and they were going ‘get on the grass, get on the grass.’
“I stood back and actually Nick noticed this and he looked over from his chair and just sort of gave me a little nod and waved me on. That was perfect and I went on and we did a great interview. I just think he respected the fact that I had given him space and we just did this lovely interview.”
McKenzie recalled the conversation as she told Kyrgios: “You give off an impression that this doesn’t matter to you but it really does matter.
“He doesn’t have a coach and he actually said in the interview: ‘I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, coaching me? Can you imagine what it’s like to coach me?’ He’s got such a great self awareness.”
She also discussed Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas’ heated match at Wimbledon last year where the Australian called for his opponent’s expulsion after he hit a ball into the crowd. The complaints fell on deaf ears, but Kyrgios did win the controversial encounter and after the match Tsitsipas described the Australian – who went on to reach the final where he lost against Novak Djokovic – as a “bully”.
McKenzie added: “It went nuclear, it wasn’t great for tennis, but it was great if you were just dropping in on it. Both of those players were being followed by Netflix that weekend, Nick certainly was so it brings us back to that authenticity and it sends people into a frenzy.
“It [the attention] sends very intelligent people into [a frenzy], it turns everyone into Love Island contestants.”
READ MORE: Nick Kyrgios drops retirement hint ahead of 2023 season
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