Kevin Pietersen should have been a tennis pro; here's why

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"Kevin Pietersen?!," I hear you asking. "I came on my favourite sports website...," of course, " read about the latest shenanigans in the world of tennis, not Kevin Pietersen."

Don't panic, it's probably just a one-off, just hear me out on this one.

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Some of you may be unfamiliar with all things Lords, LBWs and leading edges, so I'll do some explaining for you.

Kevin Pietersen is a former England cricketer. More than that, he's England's leading-ever run scorer. He's only 33, but he's been sacked for reasons like... well, nobody is too sure, mostly for being Pietersen, it seems.

Nonetheless he's just released an autobiography which has turned English cricket into a verbal war-site with some cutting revelations and the inevitable counter-attacks. 

KP tennis genius?

So what on earth is he doing in the tennis section? - Good question.

I was reading his book, and like many top sportsmen it seems he was good at most things he tried. I got me thinking, if KP had have taken up tennis and had the same levels of genius with a racquet, he could have matched the very best; I'm talking Roger Federer levels.

Firstly, lets judge his potential impact for an English tennis fan. It's already a very confusing and uncertain world for these people. Do you support Andy Murray? - Many people would like to, and have tried to, but the Scottish-born star's heart clearly doesn't lie south of Hadrian's Wall. It's a shame.

English support

Failing that, do you then have to hope that the world's top 100 or so players eat the same dodgy batch of pre-match pasta at Wimbledon until James Ward and Dan Evans become genuine Grand Slam-winning prospects? It's unlikely, but don't rule it out.

Pietersen wouldn't make it any less confusing. He's lived in South Africa more of his life than England, but a least he's keen to be regarded as one of the Queen's subjects. You'd get the impression that fans might rally behind him, they could divorce themselves from the loveless marriage with Murray. 

So to the actual tennis mechanics, there are a lot of transferable skills. 

Duck in water

KP loves the reverse sweep - it's called a backhand in tennis, and he wouldn't be criticised for attempting it. Rafael Nadal can punch it down court as well Kevin liked to hit it over the bowler's head. Volleys/full tosses, half-volleys/half-trackers, aces/sixes... you get the message by now.

So that's a simplistic look into how Pietersen could have dominated on-court as well as he did on the wicket. I could go-on drawing comparisons, but I sense it could get boring. 

Moving on... the issues in KP's book have demonstrated why cricket might not have been the best sport to match his personality.


One of the most explosive topics has been the bullying culture allegations against his former international team-mates.

You don't get that with tennis. Pietersen wouldn't have to worry about any misfielding on-court. Fielders are specially recruited in tennis to take away the hassle, they just prefer to be known as ball-boys. I guess there's always a chance they could be bullied but they're generally very well trained and don't get themselves into awkward situations. 

Coaching? Pietersen referred to his most-prominent coach in the international set-up as 'the mood hoover'. Andy Flower and dour, were rhymed together to provide one chapter title. It rules-out cricket, as well as football and rugby, as appropriate sports for the man. 


While there are plenty of falling-outs between coach and player in tennis, with it being an individual sport, the player can just sack the coach. KP felt aggrieved at being sacked, but as a Grand Slam hopeful he wouldn't be put in such a situation. 

But what about the KP Genius parody Twitter account? His cricket mates, although they deny it, were implicated in tweeting banterfull slurs about the batsman. In tennis they're even more likely to have the freedom to get under KP's skin, they're in direct competition after all.

However it seems as though Pietersen would have loved to have the chance to play against some of those players he didn't get along with.


Say it was the same with Novak Djokovic, Federer, Murray or Nadal? Simple, just ace them off-court with that pent up anger and make them eat their words. #KPgenius  

Finally KP the cricketer wanted to see the world, he didn't just want to slap county bowlers' medium-pace filth over the ropes into a sparsely-populated grassy bank to disturb an old man with his picnic hamper. 

He wanted to slap some Indian youngster's gentle spin over the ropes, under the lights and the booming music of a packed IPL arena full of screaming fans. 

Shanghai, Monte Carlo, Paris, Miami, Toronto... The ATP tour takes you to all sorts of places to play tennis rather than the traditional Test match-type Grand Slams. He could fill a purse in no time at all. 

Best of all, however, I get the impression that Piers Morgan doesn't follow tennis as much as he does cricket. Happy days, or 'BOOOM'. 


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