Aussie tennis sensation Nick Kyrgios had to contend with more than just Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in his third round match at the Australian Open.
Often tennis players end up having to contend with a distraction in the crowd, but on this occasion, rather than the usual spectator trying to find his seat, the players had to contend with the constant cheering of the thousands packed into the Rod Laver Arena.
This cheering appeared to happen every time the Hollywood A lister Will Smith got some big screen time.
The 22-year-old, who has been pencilled in as a future world number one ever since he broke onto the tour, explained in his post match conference what he said to Smith during the match.
“I just said like, well, every time he got shown on the screen they (the crowd) cheered louder when he was on screen than for any of the shots that we were making.
“So I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they’ll probably enjoy that more than the tennis’.
“And I just said, ‘I’ve watched a lot of your movies a bunch of times’.
“It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.”
Kyrgios has often been accused of a lack of focus on court, and at times, this seems to be the catalyst for him throwing away winning positions, so when he had to contend with Smith in the crowd and Tsonga at the other end of the net, two people he both described as his idols, his Aussie fans may have feared the worse.
But, this seems to be a more focused Nick Kyrgios, and the home favourite held his nerve to take the match by winning three tie break sets.
For a player who always appeared to have the talent, if he has now found a way to be tougher mentally on the court, then he has a real chance to give the Melbourne crowd a first home grown victory since 1976.
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