What’s the Origin of the Scoring System in Tennis

Tim inquired about the origins of tennis’s unique scoring system.

Responding with expertise, Tony R, our knowledgeable historian and avid student of the game, shared his findings: “Greetings, Tim. After investigating your query regarding the tennis scoring system’s origins, it appears to stem from the 12th-century French sport ‘je de paume’ (handball), where the face of a clock was used for scoring—0, 15, 30, and 45. When rackets were introduced, the score of 45 was adjusted to 40, and the game eventually came to be known as tennis, or ‘tenez’ in French.
A classic example of the French making things overly complicated!”

Appreciation to Tony!




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Medvedev: Mind over Matter

Russian Daniil Medvedev recovered from two sets down to outlast  Zverev, 5-7 3-6 7-6 7-5 6-3 in a gruelling semi-final and join Sinner in Sunday’s final.

“I was a little bit lost,” Medvedev admitted to Jim Courier when they were finally done, “but during the third set I started saying to myself that if I lose this match, I just want to be proud of myself. I want to fight until the end, fight for every point, and if I lose, I lose. And I managed to win, so I’m very proud.”

Medvedev has been sweating it out there for more than 20 hours, lost eight sets and twice recovered from two sets down. No-one has done that at the Australian Open since Pete Sampras in 1995. Small wonder Medvedev looked bedraggled when he was done. Then again, he always looks that way.

Quirky as ever, but less irascible, Medvedev at last has won fans and favour in this tournament. It’s been by design. He said he had decided between seasons to make a concerted effort to avoid aggravation – from opponents and crowds – and channel all his powers into his tennis.

“I want to play tennis. I want to be proud of myself. I want to fight. So could this help me win all of these matches? Possibly, yes. But I also don’t want to say yes one month ago I decided this and then suddenly I’m winning all these matches. Life is not that easy.

The first set could have been a chapter from Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War. Having played 18 times previously, it was as though they knew each other’s game so well that neither could surprise each other strategically. It made for an intriguing deadlock.

Medvedev used his patent return-of-serve tactic, standing so far behind the baseline that he was not so much receiving as fetching. In a manner, it worked.

In the second set, Zverev, though an inconsistent net player, decided to exploit all the space Medvedev was giving him by advancing on the net more often. It worked; two more breaks sped him to a 2-0 lead. Ordinarily, you might have expected Medvedev to have a Plan B up his own sleeve. Perhaps he did, but he was serving too poorly for it to matter. In the first two sets, Zverev broke him five times.

Back against the wall, Medvedev moved up the court, trying to crowd Zverev’s serve, doubling his few net approaches and retrieving spectacularly several times. It worked. At these closer quarters, Medvedev’s smarts told, though Zverev stayed with him to the tie-breaker.

Bit by bit, this grew into a saga. In the fourth set, Medvedev fashioned one break point with a perfect stop volley, another two points later with a pinpoint lob. Either would have led to him serving out the set.

But Zverev saved both with big serves, and then Medvedev appeared to have self-immolated when a double fault in the tie-breaker delivered Zverev’s seeming victory on a platter. But he didn’t take it, and in a cruel twist, Medvedev horribly framed a return of serve, only for it to plop over the net to send the match into a fifth set.

Five games into the fifth set, the match reached its last pass when a tiring Zverev netted a volley to fall two break points down. Sorely knowing the implications, the German belted his racquet into the offending net. Duly, he lost the game, and with it the last of his earlier momentum, and Medvedev won the mental game! Extraordinarily, having lost his serve five times in the first two sets, he was not broken again for the match.

“I would say this court is not my best court in terms of my performance and my actual self-esteem,” he said to Courier. “That’s why many times I had to dig deep during this tournament. So I’m gonna be the happiest man on the planet (if I win). But for this I need to play pretty well and win three sets on Sunday.”

Source: SMH



How to Find a Way to Win

Mirra Andreeva somehow rallied from a 1-5 final-set deficit on Friday to eliminate Frenchwoman Diane Parry. Along the way, Andreeva tossed her racquet in disgust, and bit so hard into her left arm that she left a mark.
‘‘ At 5-1 , I don’t know, I just tried to win at least one more game to not go 6-1 , 1-6 , 6-1 . What is that score?’’ Andreeva said. ‘‘ I just tried to win one more game to at least be 6-2 in the third.
Then [at] 5-2 , she has match points. I’m going to the net. I’m thinking, ‘Am I crazy?’. I’m going to the net on match point. But then she missed a ball.
The adrenaline [kicked in], the desire, the feeling that I want to win … I feel like when you’re coming back from this score, it’s kind of easy on a mental side for you.
It’s easier than for your opponent because you’re on the run, you have all the adrenaline. That’s what I had today.’’
Now, to explain Andreeva’s bemusement towards being at the net at such a crucial moment. She ventured to that unfamiliar territory only nine times!
Source SMH 21Jan25
Please excuse any typos as this was sent from my iPhone


Seaside Results 2023

The Dreaded Tennis Elbow | AskThePro

Recently, I have a reoccurrence of the dreaded tennis elbow. What can I do about it?

Unfortunately, sooner or later, most of us have to suffer through the dreaded tennis elbow.  Between 10 and 50 percent of players suffer from tennis elbow so you’re not alone. And as most of us find out – rest doesn’t help.

Tennis elbow occurs when repetitive forces cause micro-trauma injuries to the tissues around the elbow.  Common initiating factors include: using a new racket, using nylon strings that are too tight, oversized grips, playing in the wind, hitting ‘heavy wet balls.

In addition, if you suddenly increase your playing intensity and couple this with poor technique, especially the backhand and serve, you reduce your body’s ability to withstand these forces and develop tennis elbow. Striving for that little extra can really hurt you!

In a study by Kelley (1994): “sufferers showed poor body positioning and greater involvement of their forearm extensor muscles. They also showed rapid change from wrist flexion to wrist extension when striking the ball and early in the follow-through. This placed the wrist in an unstable position to withstand repeated forces. Importantly, the backhand stroke heightened these differences.”

If you are suffering from tennis elbow, you will have pain radiating down the lateral side of your elbow or stiffness in this area. Your symptoms may disappear if you stop playing, but this is obviously self-defeating. If you consult a doc, they’ll suggest anti-inflammatory drugs, injections, and RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) method. These, however, merely treat the symptoms and don’t address the underlying factors that caused the injury.

Another paper by Noteboom (1994) suggested 5 stages of treatment for tennis elbow: 1. Reduce pain, 2. Reduce inflammation, 3. Induce the healing process, 4. Maintain fitness, and 5. Control force placed on injured tissues.

Part of reducing the pain and inflammation is to get the inflamed tendons and muscles to ‘release’ (this is why some people have success with acupuncture). Typically the muscles and tendons are displaced away from your body causing your arm to be ‘bent’ and exacerbating the stress on the elbow point. You need to find the pressure (i.e pain) point, and gradually increase the pressure there until you feel the muscle release – sometimes takes a couple of minutes depending on how extreme your case!.

Repeat liberally and at the same time, start hot massage beginning at the wrist and gradually work your way up to the elbow to both release and stimulate blood flow to the muscles and tendons. Be patient, since there’s typically little blood flow to tendons which is why it takes time for the inflammation to go down. Gradually you’ll see your arm “unbend” as the muscles and tendons return to proper alignment.

In my own case, it takes about 10 days to get my elbow in reasonable shape if I’m diligent. Thereafter, after I’ve completed stages 1-3, I use a series of stretching exercises coupled with reducing the force in hitting the ball.  Racket stringing technology is developing all the time and I’ve found that one of Gamma’s strings, Live Wire, definitely eases the force on my arm.  While it might costs a few $$ more for a restring, even so, you’ll easily make up for this in frustration and injury reduction.

Candidly, putting the right strings in your racket is worth at least a point-a-game advantage in power, control, and injury prevention! If you can afford the technology, buy it!! Likewise, if you worried about your technique, spend a few $$$ on lessons.

Rob, USPTA Pro

Tennis Whisperer

Mastering Tennis Requires an All-Court Style

The tennis court at Arthur Ashe Stadium appears smooth, but the microscopic structure of sand granules in the acrylic paint significantly affects match dynamics. The size, shape, and density of the sand dictate the ball’s speed post-bounce, with the U.S. Open surface being “medium-fast,” resulting in fewer long rallies and quicker matches. This pace is deliberately chosen by organizers using devices that measure friction and restitution.
Players like Daniil Medvedev have criticized court speeds, as variations can affect match outcomes. For example, the medium-slow courts at Indian Wells play differently than the medium-fast courts in Miami. Organizers try to control court pace; for instance, Wimbledon switched to 100% ryegrass for firmer courts, and the U.S. Open added sand to the line paint to minimize ball sliding.
Despite these efforts, top players like Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek consistently win regardless of surface speed. The pace affects playing styles, with faster surfaces favoring offense and slower ones requiring defensive skills and patience. Rafael Nadal, dominant on slow clay courts, had to adopt a more attacking style for hardcourts. The U.S. Open resurfaces its courts annually to ensure consistency. The surface, made by Advanced Polymer Technology, impacts the ball’s speed, trajectory, and spin.
Ultimately, mastering tennis requires an all-court style, as top players like Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, Alcaraz, and Novak Djokovic have demonstrated their adaptability to different court speeds.

Court speeds at major tournaments in 2023




French Open


Slow (29 or less)

Indian Wells


Medium-slow (30-34)

Western & Southern Open


Medium (35-39)

Miami Open


Medium-fast (40-44)

Australian Open


Medium-fast (40-44)

U.S. Open


Medium-fast (40-44)



Fast (45 or more)

Source: �https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/09/02/sports/tennis/us-open-tennis-court-speed.html

“You have to be ready to deal with it”: Combatting Anxiety on the Court

It can feel like the whole world is caving in when the nerves kick in and the knot in your stomach tightens, when you feel the piercing gaze of the crowd, when you start to shake, sweat and stumble, when your knees start to buckle and your heart begins to beat faster and faster.

But this experience is not unique.

An estimated 31 percent of US adults struggle with anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, so why do athletes feel so alone? According to J.D. DeFreese, an exercise and sport science professor at UNC, this is because the experience of anxiety is individualized.

Ryan Seggerman, a graduate student on the UNC men’s tennis team, said the first step in grappling with anxiety in sports is acknowledging that it can’t be avoided.

“I think (anxiety) is just part of sport in general,” Seggerman said. “You get nervous before matches, you get nervous before big moments. It’s almost a fact. You have to be ready to deal with it.”

Anxiety is a battle that is being fought inside the minds of many athletes. Thanks to a growing dialogue about mental health in athletics, athletes are becoming more comfortable sharing their stories and building up one another.

Brian Cernoch, Seggerman’s teammate and a three-time All-American, said that the way in which he deals with anxiety on the court can make or break a match.

“If you come into a match and you just let the anxiety and fear of losing get to you, it’s going to take over,” Cernoch said. “If you can turn your mind to focusing on something else, focusing on your game point by point, eventually it will go away and you’re going to have a much clearer mind when you’re playing.”

For many, anxiety in athletics comes from within, but for others it comes from somewhere else — or perhaps, someone else. DeFreese said external factors like academics, family or other personal issues can affect athletes’ performances.

Anxiety can also stem from a coach.

“Coaches have a lot of actual power and a lot of perceived power over athletes,” DeFreese said. “They get to decide who gets to play. They decide who plays what positions. How they make those decisions, how they communicate those decisions, the degree to which they make the athlete feel meaningful and valued beyond just playing — coaches can do that in the most positive ways, and coaches can make an athlete not feel very valued outside what they do as a performer.”

Sam Paul has been the head coach of UNC’s men’s tennis team for 30 years. He said he must always be mindful of how his words and actions affect the athletes he coaches.

“You, as a coach, can certainly increase anxiety if you’re not aware of what’s happening around you,” Paul said. “But it’s all about communication.”

Communication. That is what it all boils down to. The stigma around anxiety in athletics has made it difficult for athletes at all levels to come forward and communicate the fact that they are struggling.

Since 2020, NCAA student-athlete well-being studies continue to report that mental health concerns are prevalent among collegiate athletes.

Ben McCormick
April 11, 2023

Moneyball Comes to Tennis

Tennis is on the verge of a belated Moneyball revolution. In the northern spring, the Association of Tennis Professionals, which runs the men’s tour, is planning to open up ball-tracking data from every match to all its players and coaches.

The shift will do much to level an uneven playing field. Until now, millionaire players such as the “Big Four” men have had the opportunity to buy better-quality data analysis than their less wealthy rivals.

One might imagine that access to data would be a basic right for all leading professionals. In fact, anyone wanting to use the information gathered by Hawk-Eye, the leading ball-tracking provider since 2014, has had to pay a £150 ($263) processing fee per match. On top of that, tour rules say you can order data only from matches you played in.

In April, this will change. “We want to give players more equal access to this information,” says Ross Hutchins, the Association of Tennis Professionals’ chief tour officer. “We believe it will improve performance levels. We are looking to bring player and ball-tracking online from every ATP tournament. We’re hoping to make this happen by the second quarter of 2023, and then bring in wearable technology, such as heart monitors and GPS location devices, by the second half of the year.”

Despite the relatively large amount of money at stake, tennis must rank as one of the most backward major sports when it comes to sophisticated data analysis, mainly because there are few economies of scale.

Six-figure sums for data

If you are lucky enough to come from a grand-slam nation such as Great Britain or the United States, you can usually dip into your federation’s sizeable dataset. Otherwise, the only way to gain access to more than a tiny percentage of matches is to hire one of the big analytical companies, such as Golden Set Analytics (GSA), which used to charge Roger Federer a six-figure sum annually for exclusive access to its scouting and performance reports.

“In tennis, the teams are smaller than most other sports, and almost everything has to come out of the player’s pocket,” says Philip Mauerhofer, who runs a well-regarded analytics firm called Tennis Stat. “Unless you’re at the top of the game, adding more expenditure to your coaching and your physio and your fitness training is always going to be a stretch. So to have a trove of data available on every player would be a game-changer.”

Agent Patricio Apey welcomed the ATP plan. One of Apey’s clients – America’s Sebastian Korda – has been able to benefit from his close relationship with the United States Tennis Association, which logs all the information from its home tournaments and has a data-pooling deal with Tennis Australia.

But another of Apey’s stable – Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas – has had no such support. Tsitsipas thus needs to spend considerably more to gain the same level of tactical insight. As a top-five player, he can probably afford the difference. Those lower down the ladder are not always so fortunate.

“I’m cautiously hopeful that the governing bodies will see that making this information available to all players and their teams will only make the sport better,” Apey says. “Look at how sophisticated Formula One is when it comes to using data. Maybe in the future we will see cutting-edge analysts in the player boxes doing their work in real time and passing useful feedback to coaches and players during matches.”

Test run for courtside coaching

Tennis has many governing bodies, and at the moment only the Association of Tennis Professionals – as opposed to the grand slams and the Women’s Tennis Association – is committed to opening up its dataset. But the scenario Apey mentions is already here, even if it was used only on an experimental level at last November’s ATP Next Gen Finals in Milan, where coaches were allowed to advise their players during matches, as is becoming the norm on the ATP Tour, and at the two hard-court slams. They were also given an electronic tablet showing live data from the match as it progressed.

“It was challenging to use at first,” says James Trotman, the British coach whose player, Jack Draper, was eliminated in the semi-finals of that event. “There was so much data, whether it be the direction of the serve, the accuracy of the return, or the speed of each player’s forehands and backhands.

“I had to keep it simple, so I just focused on the first of those categories. There was one opponent who was always serving in the same place, so when it came to the tie-break I was able to tell Jack to sit on that return, which helped a great deal.”

Four years ago, Germany’s No. 1 Alexander Zverev said that “all the big guys are using data analysis, they just don’t like to talk about it” – and leading players are still coy about their data support. A rare exception is the world’s best player, Novak Djokovic, who allowed his former analyst, Craig O’Shannessy, to speak publicly about their work together.

The bigger your database, the easier it is to supply reliable scouting reports on every opponent. GSA says it has an automated algorithm that “scrapes” data directly from TV coverage, but for the smaller operators, many thousands of hours have been spent on hand-tagging matches. The going rate for a one-off scouting report from these lesser outfits is $US300.

So what kinds of insight can a big company provide? “A lot of added value is obtained from using data richer than anything the human eye can detect,” says Ben Depoorter, GSA’s vice-president of player analytics. “Hawk-Eye’s ball-tracking system generates millions of data points. And the insights that show up are not always what you might expect.

“Contrary to most expectations, Djokovic is outstanding with his backhand on fast returns hit towards his feet, and weaker on loopy balls that land short but with more of an angle, because he likes to hit on the rise. People come in with set ideas about what works – and the only way to disprove their preconceptions is with data.”

Source: The Telegraph, London

6 Gadgets Which Improve Your Tennis (Maybe??)

If you want to get better at tennis and improve your fitness, these gadgets maybe a starting point?

Tennis is a very physical sport. For example, the tennis serve represents a complex movement that requires muscles throughout the entire body to rotate in unison to deliver accuracy and power.

Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned veteran looking to get just a little bit better, there are a handful of tech gadgets you should check out.

These gadgets can track and analyze your swing, keep track of the score, and measure the speed of your serves, among other things.

1. Sony Smart Tennis Sensor

2. Zepp Tennis Swing Analyzer

3. Babolat Pop Tennis Wristband

4. Ball Coach Pocket Radar

5. Hit Zone Air Suspension Tee

6. Scoreband Play Wristband



NCAA champion Ben Shelton

ATLANTA — The phrase “future of American men’s tennis” mostly inspires groans these days, as 74 Grand Slams have come and gone since Andy Roddick lifted the U.S. Open trophy in 2003.

Invariably, the burdenof that drought falls on the American youngsters who quickly rise up the rankings, start making an impact on the ATP Tour and then run into the Grand Slam wall that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have erected over the last two decades.

So let’s not saddle Ben Shelton, just 19, with that kind of albatross. But we can say this: The rising University of Florida junior, who won the NCAA singles title in May, is very, very good. And he’s on the precipice of a career-defining summer that may well put himon a very different trajectory from the one that seemed laid out for him just a few weeks ago.

Shelton, whose father Bryan is a former top-100 player and now is the head coach at Florida, played his first ATP-level match Tuesday, at the Atlanta Open. He won it in pretty straightforward fashion, beating veteran pro Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-2, 7-5 and letting out a big scream as he put away an overhead on match point.

“It’s really special,” said Shelton, who was just a few blocks from the courts of his childhood at Georgia Tech, where his father coached until 2012.

Ben Shelton already has received a wildcard entry to the U.S. Open, the season's final Grand Slam.

But with each tournament he’s played, the bigger story is that Shelton himself might be special, and his performance could very well force some decisions about his future much faster than anticipated.

As of now, Shelton is slated to return to Florida in the fall. But after performing well in several Challenger-level events and impressively winning his first round here, he’s on a fast track to the top 200 in the world rankings. Brad Gilbert, the longtime pro player, coach and ESPN analyst, wrote on Twitter that Shelton will be “top 50 for sure.” And the U.S. Open already has granted him a wildcard into the main draw, which would be a guaranteed $75,000 in first-round prize money — if he turns pro.

“That’ll definitely be a talk later in the summer with my parents and my team and we’ll make a decision based on where my development is and what’s going to be best for me not just on the court but off the court as well,” Shelton said. “There’s no real results or rankings that are going to sway my decision in a big way.”

There’s plenty, of course, that could bring Shelton back to college. It’s a comfortable place for him, he wants to complete his finance degree and it’s certainly a big deal to play for his father on one of the most successful teams in the country.

But as he goes through the process this summer, it certainly seems possible Shelton and those around him will conclude that he’s just too good to go back to school.

“I’m just a college guy out here having fun,” he said. “I don’t put too much stress on my matches. I’m focused and want to do the best I can, but it’s not do-or-die for me out here.”

Shelton will get a better sense of where he stands on Thursday when he faces No. 25-ranked John Isner, who has won the Atlanta event six times. After going 11-4 against pros ranked mostly in the 150-300 range, this will be Shelton’s first opportunity to see how he stacks up against a top-100 player.

But regardless of how it goes against Isner — and certainly it’s a major step up in class for someone who hasn’t turned pro yet — it’s Shelton’s explosive game at 6-foot-3 that is drawing as much attention as the results.

With a big lefty serve that averaged 126 mph against Ramanathan and the ability to get a massive kick on his first and second serve, Shelton already has a legitimate weapon that can win him matches. But he also appears to be very solid off both of his groundstrokes and is very comfortable coming into the net to finish points behind both his power and slice. Shelton won 15 of 22 points when he came in for a volley or overhead.

“I love to get to net, be able to use some of my hand skills, athletic skills and going up to get the ball (to put away overheads) is one of my favorite things to do,” Shelton said. “I could have done a better job today incorporating my serve and volley and getting to net quicker in points but I think that’s a big part of my game and a big part of my development.”

Only the hardest of hardcore tennis fans would have been watching Shelton on a Tuesday afternoon in Atlanta, but it was easy to see why he’s been a dominant college player, going 37-5 in singles last season. It was also a huge advertisement for other tournaments this summer and fall to offer him a wildcard entry, as Atlanta did. Every tournament wants to boast that it helped launch a great career.

It’s far too early to project that Tuesday’s match was the debut of the next great American champion, but at the very least Shelton appears poised for an interesting and successful pro career. Shelton may have some things pulling him back to college for another year, but if he keeps playing like he has the last several weeks, it will be difficult to turn down the opportunities he’s creating for himself right now.

Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Dan Wolken


Wimbledon still has a couple of days to go, which is helpful because 48 hours gives us time to have another 48 opinions on Nick Kyrgios, to add to the thousands we’ve had on Kyrgios over the past eight years. This is Australia in 2022: Girt By Nick. 

Kyrgios is now a human hottake generator, in that the endless hot takes on him now generate their own hot takes about the earlier hot takes, and on and on until we die. You’re reading one right now, so please watch for any sudden change in your vital signs. 

To sum up our rollercoaster journey with the tennis terror from Canberra, let’s go to the social media-speak Nick himself loves so much: It’s Complicated. WTAF. FFS. And so on. 

Because let’s be honest: it’s as easy to write the column ‘‘ Ten Reasons To Love Nick Kyrgios’ ’ as it is to write the column ‘‘ Ten Reasons To Hate Nick Kyrgios’’ . 

You can sensibly and sarcastically wonder out loud what it is the Kyrgios fans love about him. Is it the verbal abuse? The violent treatment of racquets and balls? The spitting? The tanking? The narcissism? Equally, you can ask the Kyrgios haters what it is they hate. Is it the breathtaking talent? The shotmaking audacity? The charming impudence of his approach to the game’s stuffed shirts? His refreshing honesty that winning isn’t everything? What’s not to love? And what’s not to hate? 

Kyrgios contains multitudes, and it is entirely possible that by Monday he will also contain a Wimbledon title, a triumph that will challenge us to reconsider him once again. Rarely have Australian sports fans been presented with a dilemma quite like the one we face this weekend. 

As a lifelong tennis nut, my own journey with Kyrgios has been long and complicated. I remember the time he first made me sit up with a start in the middle of the night, saving nine match points on his way to the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2014. Everything seemed possible then. I loved the guy, and I’ve spent a lot of money supporting him, flying to Darwin to watch him in the Davis Cup, and finding myself sitting next to Ken Rosewall at Rod Laver Arena the night Kyrgios played Nadal at the Australian Open in 2020. 

Rosewall (who seemed bemused by Kyrgios more than anything else) never won Wimbledon, but he was a living reminder of a time when Australians always did. From 1922 to 1972, Australian players hoisted the men’s trophy 18 times. In the 50 years since, we’ve managed it just twice, Pat Cash in 1987 and Lleyton Hewitt in 2002. 

We desperately want another man to win the greatest title, but Kyrgios – with as much raw talent as any Australian player has ever had – complicates the hope. And some of that is actually quite simple for some of the reactions: it’s racism. But racism does not explain all or even most of the contentious relationship. 

I fell off the Kyrgios bandwagon last year, and after eight years of ferocious loyalty I’m finding it very hard to get back on it – even with a Wimbledon title in sight. The eternal promise had given way to eternal complaining. The bad behaviour too often crosses the line. The self-aggrandisement – the boasting about his crowd sizes and his self-proclaimed stature as the saviour of modern tennis – almost echoes Trump in its narcissism. 

And so here we are, wondering what comes next. 

Perhaps we can look to the past to summon some optimism. Hark back to John McEnroe, who was literally persona non grata at Wimbledon (they refused him the honorary club membership given to all champions) until his genius and his grit turned him into a beloved elder of the sport. 

Ditto with Andre Agassi. He even boycotted Wimbledon for years because of the all-white dress code. Then he turned up, wearing white tracksuit pants like a spirit returned from the 1920s, and won the whole show. Agassi 2.0 was born right there on the hallowed London lawns, past demons cast aside. 

Could history repeat? Will we come to love Kyrgios like we did those tennis toddlers of the past? We’re about to find out if Nick can wake up to the fact that the grass really is greener on the other side. 

Neil McMahon is a freelance writer.