Tsitsipas & Kyrgios Open Up On Their Bromance
There’s very little that’s conventional about the doubles partnership between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios. When Kyrgios first asked the #NextGenATP Greek to team up, he even tried to sweeten the pot by offering to defect from Australia.
“He asked by saying he wanted to play the ATP Cup for Greece,” laughed Tsitsipas. “He said he has a [Greek] passport, but I knew he was being sarcastic because he’s sarcastic 95 per cent of the time. He wanted to play doubles with me at Queen’s Club and I couldn’t, but we played at the Citi Open and now here in Cincinnati, so he’s become our official agent.”
Although they lost their debut outing in Washington in a Match Tie-break to Wimbledon champions Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, the early signs were encouraging enough to team up this week at the Western & Southern Open. Fittingly, they will play Cabal/Farah once again in the first round.
Both players admit to being polar opposites. Kyrgios is gregarious and outgoing, while Tsitsipas is a self-described introvert. But like many partnerships, opposites attract.
“It’s the joy of being with a person who thinks different and reacts differently,” said Tsitsipas. “I would charactertise him as someone who likes to amuse. I’m very serious and concentrated when I play, but he just has the style of speaking all the time. It’s good sometimes to have a change.”
Their bromance extended well beyond their initial foray on the doubles court. Both players heaped praise on each other in press conferences and on social media. When Tsitsipas needed to change shoes during their semi-final singles match in Washington, Kyrgios provided one of the funniest moments of the week by personally delivering them.
Special Delivery! 😂
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) August 4, 2019
They’ve also been able to learn from each other. While the normally serious Tsitsipas was able to laugh during his “shoegate” moment with Kyrgios, the Aussie experienced during their warm-up why Tsitsipas has climbed to a career-high No. 5 in the ATP Rankings.
“I thought we were just going to have a 25-minute hit-out, roll the arm over, banter a little bit. Before I know it, we’re an hour in, playing singles games. I’m dripping,” said Kyrgios in Washington. “That shows how hard he works. He’s out there every day, super professional, putting in the hours. It’s obvious why he’s good. You can see how polished his game is when he’s playing.”
Tsitsipas acknowledged that Kyrgios’ boisterous on-court behavior can be polarizing to some fans, but made it clear he’s now firmly in the Aussie’s corner. If their growing friendship is any indication, Cincinnati won’t be be the last time they team up.
“He’s entertaining people,” said Tsitsipas. “Some people love him, some people hate him. I believe we need people like him in the game, otherwise everything becomes too serious. He’s fun.”