This weekend, Australia faces a reckoning.
The story has been plotted so expertly it is closer to the stuff of fiction.
He wears his fatal flaw as freely as he wears his red Air Jordans onto a court with an all-white dress code. As Todd Woodbridge puts it, Kyrgios' greatest obstacle will always be what lies between his two ears. He has a temper. He loses control. He doesn't even like tennis all that much. Sometimes, he'll be midway through a match and just give up. He descends into unsportsmanlike behaviour, blaming a ball kid for his own bad serve, swearing at umpires and spitting in the direction of a fan. So far at Wimbledon, the 27-year-old has been fined $US14,000 in offences.
At every grand slam, this man's fatal flaw intersects perfectly with the plot; that being the matches that push him to his limits. Every time he steps out onto the court, suspense hangs in the air. Will he crack? Or will he triumph?
WATCH: Nick Kyrgios talks about Stefanos Tsitsipas in a post match press conference. Post continues below.
Australians have turned the pages, chapter after chapter, begging this character to deliver us a redemption arc. We've plotted it out. We've pointed to Lleyton Hewitt. With some maturity, some humility and a little more self-awareness, Australians imagine, this man could be a champion.
But it is an arc he refuses to follow.
We keep watching though. One theme of Kyrgios' story has been racism and the "grateful immigrant" trope (that is, that Kyrgios owes 'us' anything) which explains something about his relationship with Australia although not all of it. We've also looked more closely at the creation of sporting 'heroes', chosen as kids and given sponsorship deals before they've even won anything. He is, for better or worse, a rule-breaker, who is changing our understanding of tennis. He is a showman before he is a gentleman. He sees tennis as entertainment, a springboard for celebrity. What we've seen is Kyrgios bring in new spectators and perhaps 'sell' tennis to a new generation.
At least, that was his story before this week.