Will Smith Hitch-es Up With Tennis’ Fresh Prince Kyrgios
Hollywood seems to have moved to Melbourne Park — for the fortnight, at least.
After Will Ferrell made several appearances at the Australian Open earlier in the week, fellow actor Will Smith watched the tennis on Rod Laver Arena Friday evening, as Nick Kyrgios thrilled the home crowd by ousting No. 15 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets.
“That was amazing. No joke, he’s like my favourite actor,” Kyrgios said. “I get asked if one person were acting your life, I’d always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight.”
Kyrgios still watches Smith’s television show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and says Smith stars in his two favorite movies, “Focus” and “Seven Pounds”. The right-hander even chatted with him intermittently in the third set.
“Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making,” Kyrgios said. “I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis’. I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times’. It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.”
Former World No. 1 Jim Courier spoke to Smith during the match, and he was impressed by what he was seeing in his first Grand Slam visit, especially from Kyrgios.
“I love, he does this little bow in his wrist I love, it looks like a power thing,” Smith said. “I don’t know a lot about tennis, but watching him I was like man, I think I might have to take this up a little bit!”
Courier asked Kyrgios on court after the match how he felt seeing the actor in attendance.
“When I saw him [Smith] out here, I was so nervous, no joke,” Kyrgios said. “I was like ‘Oh my God’, people think I’m cool but I just wanted him to think I was like the coolest person ever!”
Smith smiled, and gave the Aussie a big thumbs up. Kyrgios beat his idol Tsonga and got props from his favourite actor — not bad for a night’s work.
“I shook hands with Jo at the net. He was like, ‘Great match’. I was kind of staring at him. I didn’t really say anything. He kind of just smiled, kind of embraced me,” Kyrgios remembered. “I was nervous for both honestly. I was nervous for both of them.”
Much to Kyrgios’ delight, the 22-year-old got to meet Smith after the match.
“He was really nice,” Kyrgios said. “He was really genuine. Yeah, it was nice to meet him.”