Nick Kyrgios' commentary career has gotten off to an awkward start, with the Aussie tennis ace called out over an X-rated slip of the tongue at the ATP Finals in Turin. The 28-year-old - who has missed the entire season through injury - was invited to call the action for the Tennis Channel and joined Jim Courier and Brett Haber to call the round-robin match between Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev.
Kyrgios and compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis competed in the doubles event at the season-ending tournament last year and the Aussie offered a unique perspective in commentary as someone who has competed against the world's top players and knows their games well. "I love watching tennis. I feel like I'm a bit of a student of a game," Kyrgios said about his commentary debut.
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"I watch my own film, I have my own tactics... I've played these guys a lot, and I know what they're going to be doing under pressure. I know how to have success, and equally, what their strengths are."
It was when Kyrgios turned his attentions to Zverev and how the German could defeat Medvedev that things took an unfortunate turn for the Aussie in commentary. "Again, you look at people who've had sex, success against Medvedev... Alcaraz, every time he plays against Medvedev he's moving forward, taking all those volleys, taking time away. It's crucial."
The Aussie's slip-up on the microphone didn't go unnoticed with his co-commentator Brett Haber quick to throw the Aussie under the bus. "Welcome to your first Tennis Channel viral moment Nick, that was good," he said.
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) November 16, 2023
Kyrgios quickly asked what happened before Haber informed the Aussie they would play the clip back for him in the ad break. "Oh yeah, I think I know," a sheepish Kyrgios admitted as the realisation dawned on the 28-year-old. "That's hilarious."
The Aussie's other highlights in his commentary debut included referring to Spanish young gun Carlos Alcaraz as "a stud" and 24-time major champion Novak Djokovic as "super-human" and "an alien from another planet". Kyrgios only played one match in 2023 due to knee and wrist injuries but said he was "doing everything" to get back on court including daily gym work and rehab.
Daniil Medvedev makes it two wins from two
In the day's action in Turin, Medvedev booked his place in the last four with a 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 win over Zverev. The Russian is two wins from two having beaten compatriot Andrey Rublev in his first round-robin match.
Medvedev was forced to save two set points in the opening stanza as Zverev was shaky on the big points at the end of both sets.
"Very tough match mentally. I'm happy that I was able to regroup," Medvedev said. "The ending of both sets was very tight."
Medvedev, the 2020 champion, improved to 11-7 in his career against Zverev and has now won five of their six meetings this year. The Russian also beat his compatriot Rublev in straight sets in his opening match.
The 27-year-old next faces Alcaraz, who snapped his three-match losing streak with a comfortable victory over an ill-tempered Rublev. The Spaniard boosted his hopes of progressing to the semi-finals with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Rublev, who drew blood after smashing his racquet into his leg multiple times during a second set implosion.
Rublev had already slammed his racquet to the ground during the opening game of the second set. The Russian then missed a shot to hand Alcaraz a break, before beating himself as he walked to his chair and having to use a towel to wipe the blood off his leg.
Rublev was virtually eliminated after losing both of his opening matches, while a win for Alcaraz in his final group match will guarantee his place in the last-four. "The key against Medvedev is to play a perfect match — tactically," Alcaraz said.
Jannik Sinner leads the green group with two wins following his victory over Novak Djokovic. The top two finishers in each four-man group advance to the semis.
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