book_reviews_banner_image-81x81 ANYTHING BUT CRICKET

Kyrgios – The Smash Hits    

Published: 2022
Pages: 196
Author: Harvey, Sam
Publisher: Wilkinson Publishing
Rating: 3.5 stars

Perhaps the most polarising figure in world tennis, there is no middle ground with Nick Kyrgios, you either love him or hate him. As Kyrgios hales from the same city as the Mac, and also supports the same footy team – the North Melbourne Kangaroos – I’m more towards the love side of things. Also, the one time I saw him out in Canberra he let me walk into an eatery first – “after you bruh”.

Author Sam Harvey, with the assistance of Chris McLeod, provides some insight into the complex personality of Kyrgios. While the book is mostly positive about its subject the authors do not shy away from the controversies Kyrgios has been involved in. The abuse of umpires, fellow players, the crowd and even those in his player’s box, it seems no one is safe from the wrath of Kyrgios. He seems to show special disdain for the media, and we are provided with some of his most memorable run ins with the fourth estate.

Trying to understand Kyrgios is not that easy. From mental health and substance abuse issues to self harm, all have contributed to his rollercoaster career. All these issues are openly discussed, as well as some history of his family. We learn that Kyrgios was in a dark place for a few years and barely communicated with his immediate family. This has changed and a lot of the credit appears to go to his current partner. Whether this is the reason that Kyrgios suddenly rediscovered his best form in 2022, when he made the Wimbledon final, is unclear.

Probably the biggest consistency in the opinions of every tennis expert is the fact that Kyrgios has more natural talent than any other current player. You can sense the frustration in many of the comments on why Kyrgios isn’t a top 10 player and is yet to win a grand slam title.

Kyrgios – The Smash Hits, is just that. Broken up into easy to follow chapters it contains just about everything you’d want to know about the tennis star, including chapters on his greatest matches, and some of his more unsavoury moments, on the tennis court and in venomous post match interviews. 

The only noticeable issue with Kyrgios – The Smash Hits is the lack of an interview with the man himself. While this would have been a positive, the authors have certainly researched every interview, post match interview, tweet and instagram post made in relation to Kyrgios. Due to the level of research it’s hard to imagine what new information an interview would have produced.

This is a thoroughly entertaining account of one of the most talented tennis players currently in the game. You will definitely understand Nick Kyrgios and perhaps, just maybe you too will become an admirer. Not to be missed by any tennis fan.

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