During the global Coronavirus pandemic, the art of bringing virtual sporting content to the masses has been one where legends have failed to make an impact while others have thrived. The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced everyone through a prism and viewing some through the aftereffects of simply chatting from home has highlighted just how many of our favourite sports stars are kept interesting by Media and PR outlets determined to do so to turn a profit.
Think of some of the English Premier League’s finest, reduced to entertainment rubble by the sheer force of personality of James Maddison. For fans of the Foxes midfielder, it was agonizing when his signal dropped and his image froze. For some of his contemporaries, sat mute on their sofas throughout, it was imperceptible if their WiFi crashed.
Tennis hasn’t been immune to this. Andy Murray was great to watch during the recent Virtual Madrid Open where he crushed the field laughing at himself and others while doing so. But for some others, it was just as easy to forget that they were even playing.
Cut to the action this weekend, then, and an organized chat between two of tennis’ most entertaining big hitters in Andy Murray and Nick Kyrgios. There was only one problem with the Instagram Live session – the kick-off time. While Murray was opening up the app and connecting to the video-sharing stream at 3pm his time in the U.K., Kyrgios was booting up at 12 midnight in Oz.
By that point, the Aussie serving machine was six glasses of red wine deep, and that had loosened up a player already happy to cause controversy simply with honest opinions.
Kyrgios and Murray traded questions, with Kyrgios happy to pull down the top three Grand Slam players of all-time in Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in equal measure.
“I’ve beaten Rafa, he’s a mate of yours,’ said Kyrgios with particular glee. “I beat him pretty convincingly at ‘Wimby’.”
While happy to condemn the three greatest men ever to pick up a racquet in the sport, Kyrgios was all over ‘Muzza’ like a cheap perfume, referring to a game between the two men with nightmarish recollection.
“I literally felt like I didn’t know what tennis was that day. I wanted to walk off after the first four games. When you returned my serve, which Rafa didn’t, I was like ‘I’m in trouble.’”
Saying that Murray ‘should have had one of the best careers ever’, hinting that it only isn’t that due to injury.
“I think you’re better than Djokovic. Djokovic was playing dodgeball on my serve and you were slapping it for a winner. He was trying to dodge it; you were on it like a light.’
‘The results would suggest otherwise.’ Murray laughed.
Kyrgios also spoke about loving team games so he can get on it with ‘the lads’, and implored Murray to not only ‘join Team World’ but team up with him in a doubles match.
“Hive the people want they want!’ Kyrgios said.
Murray agreed to team up with the 25-year-old tennis brat, but only if he ‘behaved himself’, something both men agreed hadn’t really happened on the Insta Live chat.
Kyrgios went on to slate Dominic Thiem as being interested in watching paint dry, while claiming that Laver Cup European team members Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev ‘have no banter, don’t give one ‘eff’ about each other, which pisses me off. Let’s be honest,” Kyrgios said’ “Tsitsipas and Zverev hate each other.”
You can watch the whole chat here, and it’s fire.
Not satisfied with Murray and Kyrgios chatting up a storm? Kyrgios took to Twitter to invite Djokovic, Nadal or Federer to step up to the plate and have an ‘open and honest’ conversation!
If Instagram Live was pay-per-view, Nick Kyrgios would be a millionaire from likes alone.
Novak or Nadal or feds or anyone next? Let’s be OPEN & HONEST
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) May 16, 2020