Aces for Australia

Could I be turning into a Nick Kyrgios fan?

Not of his tennis—I was always a fan of that. But of him as a person. The temperamental Aussie may be finally winning me over.

I imagine he’s won over quite a number of people recently. You’ve probably heard of his pledge to donate $200 for every ace he hits during the Australian tennis season to support victims of his country’s devastating wildfires. That’s a hefty pledge for someone who serves as many aces as Kyrgios does.

Under that brash exterior lies a heart of gold. Meanwhile, I sit behind my iPad snarking about everybody’s clothes. Kyrgios is putting me to shame.

It’s time to step up! I’m hereby matching Kyrgios’s pledge. I will donate $200–no, make that $250!—for every ace I hit during the month of January.

Oh lord, I just crack myself up. That would have been a pretty safe pledge for me even before my frozen shoulder.

Here’s the real pledge. A quarter for every ace Kyrgios hits. That works out to 1/800th, or .125%, of Kyrgios’s pledge. Sounds stingy, I know, but I don’t have his kind of money and he’s super-motivated to hit aces right now. A motivated Kyrgios is a dangerous thing. He hit twenty aces in his very first match!

In fact, just to be safe, I’ll cap my pledge at 1,000 aces.

Anybody want to join in with a pledge of their own? $10 for every ace you hit this month? $1 for every ace your team hits? Ten cents for each Federer ace? Let’s see if this blog can do some good for a change.

You can send donations to the Australian Red Cross.

Please share this post with any tennis fans who might want to participate.

Go, Kyrgios! ❤️ 🎾

The Underhand Serve: A Friday Poll

“Kyrgioser and kyrgioser!” cried Alice…

Another day, another Nick Kyrgios controversy. If he isn’t getting fined for lack of effort or for needling an opponent about his girlfriend’s sexual history, he’s hitting head-scratching and/or controversial shots.

In this case, the shot was a dinky underhand serve to Rafael Nadal, who famously stands practically in the bleachers when he receives. I watched the first set of this Mexican Open match and heard commentator Lindsay Davenport wonder why no one ever tries an underhand serve against Rafa. She then joked that if anyone would do it, Kyrgios would. Continue reading “The Underhand Serve: A Friday Poll”

Who Loves a Bad Boy?

We’re into the second week of Wimbledon, with its dress code, strawberries and cream, and curtsies to the royal box. The most traditional of tennis tournaments, Wimbledon is where we’re most forcefully reminded of the sport’s gentlemanly underpinnings. On its quiet, clipped grass, decorum is valued as highly as skill.

It’s a setting made for the Federers and Borgs of the world. The elegant, the humble, the gracious.

Against this backdrop, the bad boys of tennis stand out. In the past, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe played the bad boy role. The best modern avatar is Nick Kyrgios. Continue reading “Who Loves a Bad Boy?”

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