Nick Kyrgios is the biggest draw in tennis outside of Roger Federer, Serena Williams, and Rafael Nadal, says Sam Groth.
Kyrgios is arguably the most divisive figure in tennis as fans struggle to reconcile his often controversial behaviour with his obvious talent.
However, he is also undeniably entertaining, and he put on the match of the Australian Open so far along with Ugo Humbert on Wednesday.
And, according to former Australian ace Groth, Kyrgios is now one of the biggest box office draws in the whole of tennis.
“The man’s pure box office,” he told the Herald Sun in Melbourne
“He’s never going to be the poster boy for good behaviour. People tend to only focus on the negative with Nick when actually he should be celebrated.
“What he did on Wednesday night was phenomenal. It was box office tennis. It was the match this tournament has been crying out for, the Australian Open finally came to life.
“I’d go as far as saying tennis needs Nick far more than Nick needs tennis. He might not be our best athlete but he is certainly the most entertaining.
“The crowd atmosphere at a Nick Kyrgios match is like nothing I’ve experienced with any other player.
“Nick brings hysteria. It’s another level of wild. That’s why organisers and broadcasters want him in their event’s prime time slot, not just here but around the world
“He’s a global superstar. Behind Federer, Nadal and Serena Williams, he is the biggest draw card. He puts bums on seats.
“And if you’re still unable to simply enjoy the drama and theatre he brings to the court and our TV screens because you’re hung up on his public image, I just don’t understand you.
“I don’t know what more the guy can do to change people’s minds. He’s not going to change and why should he? Nick is who is he and like him or not, I bet you are still going to watch him.”
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?