From those at Rod Laver Arena – who cheered Kyrgios off with a standing ovation – to the countless media organisations who reported on his loss in favourable terms, many Australians are suddenly Team Kyrgios.
But has anything really changed? Or are Australians simply willing to turn a blind eye to bad behaviour when a player is in good form?
Although Kyrgios has clearly matured – he has spent the end of every practice session having a hit with underprivileged or disadvantaged children as part of his charity, NK – his petty and explosive on-court behaviour remains.
During his four matches at this year’s open Krygios received a code violation and fine for telling a fan to ‘shut the f*ck up’, a code violation for failing to take the court on time, he complained about the feedback from the chair umpire’s microphone, he whinged about the time an opponent was taking to serve (despite it being within the allowed 25 seconds) and he dismissed a lineperson’s call of a centre line foot fault as impossible given he had ‘never been called for it’ in his life.
Along with the obvious errant behaviour, Kyrgios’ on-court demeanour when things aren’t going his way remains far from perfect.
Despite all this, Australians are suddenly Team Kyrgios with whispers about the possibility for Grand Slam Titles and Davis Cup triumphs circulating rapidly this week.
LISTEN: While he’s proven a brat on the tennis court, Jessie Stephens has a defence for Kyrgios. Post continues after audio.
And as someone who has always been a fan of Kyrgios – and to a lesser extent Tomic – I think I know why.
Krygios is good, he’s really good. He is so good that winning titles, like the Brisbane International earlier this month, seems inevitable. And it’s really nice when Australians win things, as a country we love it.
We love it so much that we are willing to see past code violations, fines, abuse of albeit poorly-behaved fans and petty exchanges about line person decisions. With every powerful forehand winner and successful trick shot, the petty moments fade from memory.
As Krygios edges closer to possibly winning a Grand Slam Title fans have been left scratching their heads and wondering why they ever had a problem with his on-court behaviour, choosing to now describe his antics as entertaining and his petulance as expression of emotion.