Washington Lobbyists: Why Kyrgios Lets Fans Tell Him How To Serve
Welcome to the Nick Kyrgios show. Now, pick your serve!
Two years ago at the Citi Open in Washington, Kyrgios went on one of the most memorable runs of his career to claim the ATP 500 title. Along the way, the Aussie gave a new dimension to fan engagement. The inimitable right-hander began asking fans where he should serve on match point.
“It’s kind of like the finale. Who’s the lucky fan to tell me where to serve on match point?” Kyrgios said. “I feel if it works, it’s a memory they’re going to keep for life.”
Kyrgios wants to provide an experience for the fans, not just a match. The 26-year-old loves putting on a show.
“Fans for me are the reason why I play. I love to entertain, I feel like it’s all a show,” Kyrgios said. “It’s not just me going out there hitting good forehands, hitting good backhands. It’s about making everyone in that crowd feel as if they’re in the match as well.”
The six-time ATP Tour titlist feels at home in the United States, and he has fond memories of his triumphant week in Washington. To some, asking fans for serving advice against the world’s best players might seem risky, but not to Kyrgios.
“I feel like I’m an 'in-the-moment' type of guy. I feel like that’s how you get the crowd involved,” Kyrgios said. “They’re maybe not ever going to be able to play that level one day, but they’re watching it and to make them feel involved, you ask them, ‘Alright, where do you think you want me to serve? Where would you serve if you were in this moment?’”
That was not the only way Kyrgios entertained that week. The Aussie also delivered Stefanos Tsitsipas’ spare shoes on one knee. Between the fun he had and defeating the likes of Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev en route to the trophy, it was a tournament Kyrgios will never forget.
“That was one of my favourite weeks of my life.”