Is Nick Krygios good for tennis? The Bryan brothers give us their verdict
Nick Krygios crashed out of the US Open after a quarter-final defeat against Karen Khachanov and predictably, he went out in a blaze of glory.
The Aussie was installed as bookies favourite to win the US Open after Rafael Nadal’s defeat against Frances Tiafoe on Monday, but he was beaten 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 by 27th seed Khachanov.
Krygios indulged in a violent display of racket smashing after the match ended, reigniting the debate over his place in the game and whether he is a force for good in the sport.
After a summer that saw him reach the Wimbledon final and back up that success with some fine performances at the US Open, we asked doubles legends Bob and Mike Bryan to give us their verdict on Krygios and they are convinced he is a vital addition to the sport.
“I think he is good for the sport,” Bob Bryan told us at an All Court Tennis Club event.
“As a parent, sometimes you question his decisions out there and some of the things he says and sometimes you don’t want to be front row with your kids, but everyone is talking about him.
“He is packing stadiums, tournament directors want him selling tickets. He just gets it. He gets the entertainment and kids just love him. My kid is trying the underarm serve and the through-the-leg shots. He’s interesting, so I think that is only going to attract more people to his sport.”
Bob went on to suggest suggested the impressive run of form for Krygios in 2022 has been inspired by his decision to enter the Australian Open doubles tournament with his good friend Thanasi Kokkinakis in January.
The duo won the doubles tournament and now Krygios has backed up that success with some sparkling form on the singles court, with a doubles legend saluting their success.
“We were excited to see him break through on the doubles court and he is so talented,” added Bob.
“He had those stadiums rocking in Australia. You had fans come in, they weren’t tennis fans. These were kids off the street, skateboarders, real urban culture coming in to root for this guy. He is a showman.
“He understands entertainment and they were amped up. It was a great for doubled to have a guy like that breaking through.”
Mike Bryan went on to suggest more top singles players should consider playing doubles to enhance their skills and build confidence.
“I think if the singles players actually played more doubles, they would get better, but it is so physical to play singles and then have to come back and have a doubles,” Mike stated.
“If they got rid of the three out of five sets in Grand Slams, you’d see more of the singles guys playing, but it does add to their game. It’s helped Kyrgios’s confidence because he is volleying better and playing even better.
“That gave him just a shot in the arm. He was struggling, but that made him happy. He was smiling on a tennis court and we have not seen that for a long time.”
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