Temperamental Nick Kyrgios buries norms en route Acapulco title

first_imgA few hours after the serene Roger Federer collected the 100th ATP title of his career in Dubai, Nick Kyrgios was preparing for his Mexican Open final against Alexander Zverev — on a jet ski.The Four Tops once sung about Going Loco Down in Acapulco and that disco classic is a fitting soundtrack for another remarkable week in the turbulent career of Kyrgios.Arriving coach-less and ranked 72 in the world, the 23-year-old Australian blazed through the draw, taking out Rafa Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and John Isner in three-set epics before outclassing Zverev 6-3 6-4 to claim his fifth career title.En route he rowed with umpires and fans, played shots others cannot even dream of and angered 17-times Grand Slam champion Nadal.Defying. The. Doubters.: @TennisTV pic.twitter.com/HmHLKAFqhPATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) February 28, 2019Zverev, two years younger but already with twice Kyrgios’s title haul, is the man likely to fill the void when Federer, Nadal and Novak Djokovic end their careers.Others like charismatic Greek 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas, American Frances Tiafoe and any number of Russian tyros are all tipped for big things.But when it comes to really shaking up men’s tennis, Kyrgios is peerless.So ‘professional’ has the sport become, such a high bar set in terms of skill, fitness and sportsmanship by the greatest trio of champions the game has witnessed, that a genuine maverick who gears up for a final by roaring around in the Pacific surf should have no chance.But Kyrgios, described by none other than American former world number one John McEnroe as the greatest talent he has seen in the last 10 years, is doing his best to disprove that theory.advertisementHOW, @NickKyrgios?!the #AMT2019 live on @TennisTV pic.twitter.com/vZScIAr516ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) February 28, 2019The ambassadorial Federer and Nadal, with 37 Grand Slam titles between them, are revered by fans, media and fellow pros alike, as is Djokovic, even if the Serb is not hero-worshipped to quite the same degree.Kyrgios, on the other hand, has scant regard for popularity contests and likes nothing more than thumbing his nose at tennis convention, whether with his eclectic shot-making or relaxed attitude to the sport’s etiquette.As was illustrated once again in Mexico, he is not afraid to ruffle feathers, whoever they belong to.’LACKING RESPECT’Near the end of his superb second-round win over the enormously popular Nadal, Kyrgios had the temerity to dink in an underarm serve, trying to catch the Spaniard off guard.Nadal later raised a furrowed eyebrow, accused Kyrgios of “lacking respect for the public, the opponent and toward himself”, adding “there is a reason” why the mercurial Australian is struggling to sustain his form.Kyrgios has at various times in his colourful career been accused of tanking matches and shunning practice. He has accumulated numerous fines for petulance and been banned for vulgar comments about another player’s girlfriend.He shrugged off Nadal’s comments, basically saying he could not care less what the Spaniard thought.In his next round against Stan Wawrinka, a player with whom he has history, he was booed by the Mexican crowd when he walked on and again when he fell and bloodied his hand — prompting a barrage of expletives.Even Stan had to give that one aTune in to Wawrinka v. Kyrgios now on @TennisTV https://t.co/TAyBS4i76U #AMT2019 pic.twitter.com/POCA2Cx8p3ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) March 1, 2019Afterwards he said “getting stink” from the crowd fired him up — a trait former tennis wild things McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Ilie Nastase shared.While Kyrgios’s behaviour polarises opinion — he puts bums on seats, whether to cheer or jeer him. Tournament promoters welcome his name in the draw.Some may view his cheeky “underarm serve” against Nadal as breaking what Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson says is “an unwritten rule”. Others might suggest a player not prepared to bow at the feet of tennis royalty should be applauded.One of them, perhaps surprisingly, is Federer himself.”Yeah, underarm is definitely a tactic, I believe,” the Swiss stylist said.”Especially when guys are hugging the fence in the back. From that standpoint, shouldn’t be ashamed if you try it. Just look silly if you miss.”After driving Zverev a little loco on Saturday, Kyrgios was adorned with a huge sombrero, then said he might need to “be more professional” to rise back up the rankings.For the sake of entertainment, hopefully he can achieve that in his own inimitable style.advertisementAlso Read | Nick Kyrgios beats Alexander Zverev to win Acapulco InternationalAlso Read | Nick Kyrgios shrugs off Rafael Nadal criticism after Acapulco encounterlast_img read more

Vote: The best Markel Brown dunk ever

first_imgI wrote a post earlier on Tuesday outlining the 10 best Markel dunks ever. If you need a refresher for the descriptions below you can visit that post.Now I want your thoughts. It feels like we have to break this up between voting for one of the top two — The 360 vs. WVU and The Ejection vs. Mizzou — because those two are far and away the cream of the crop.And then voting between everything else for third place.So here you can vote on the best one:[poll id=”2″]And here you can vote on the bronze medal:[poll id=”3″]Poll results will be posted in the Bullets on Wednesday.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

Trump attacks majorityblack district represented by critic

first_imgWashington DC: President Donald Trump on Saturday denigrated a majority-black district represented by a congressional nemesis as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,” broadening a campaign against prominent critics of his administration that has exacerbated racial tensions. Trump lashed out in tweets against Republican Elijah Cummings, the powerful House Oversight Committee chairman, claiming his Baltimore-area district is “considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States.” Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USIt was the president’s latest assault on a prominent lawmaker, and the people he represents, two weeks after he sparked nationwide controversy with racist tweets directed at four congresswomen of colour. His comments against Cummings, who leads multiple investigations of the president’s governmental dealings, drew swift condemnation from Democrats, including would-be presidential rivals. Statements from a spokesman for the state’s Republican governor and from the lieutenant governor defended Cummings’ district and its people. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsTrump called Cummings a “brutal bully” after his public tongue-lashing of top Homeland Security officials over conditions for migrants detained along the southern border. “As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded,” Trump tweeted. “Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.” Cummings replied directly to Trump on Twitter, saying, “Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbours. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.” Cummings has also drawn the president’s ire for investigations touching on his family members serving in the White House. On Thursday his committee voted along party lines to authorize subpoenas for personal emails and texts used for official business by top White House aides, including Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner. After spending several hours on his private golf course in Virginia, Trump repeated the attack on Cummings, despite broad criticism from Democrats. “Elijah Cummings spends all of his time trying to hurt innocent people through ‘Oversight,'” Trump tweeted. “He does NOTHING for his very poor, very dangerous and very badly run district!” The latest comments come as Trump has placed racial animus at the centre of his reelection campaign, as he believes his inflammatory rhetoric will strengthen his support among the white working class and attract a new group of disaffected voters who fear cultural changes across America. Cummings’ district is about 55 per cent black and includes a large portion of Baltimore. It is home to the national headquarters of the NAACP and Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital. The city has struggled with violent crime, with more than 300 homicides for four years in a row. It has crumbling infrastructure and a police department under federal oversight. Cummings’ district also extends into Maryland’s Baltimore and Howard counties. Trump’s attack on Cummings was reminiscent of one he launched a week before his inauguration on civil rights legend John Lewis, a Democratic congressman from Georgia who questioned the legitimacy of his 2016 election. Trump tweeted in January 2017 that Lewis “should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results.” And earlier this month, the president drew bipartisan condemnation following his call for four Democratic congresswomen of colour to get out of the US “right now,” saying if the lawmakers “hate our country,” they can go back to their “broken and crime-infested” countries. His comments were directed at Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All are American citizens and three of the four were born in the US. The Democratic-led US House voted largely along party lines to condemn his “racist comments.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended Cummings on Saturday as “a champion in the Congress and the country for civil rights and economic justice, a beloved leader in Baltimore, and deeply valued colleague.” “We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership,” she said. Baltimore Mayor Bernard C “Jack” Young fired back at Trump after his attacks, saying he is a “disappointment to the people of Baltimore, our country, and to the world.” “It’s completely unacceptable for the political leader of our country to denigrate a vibrant American City like Baltimore, and to viciously attack US Representative Elijah Cummings a patriot and a hero,” Young said in a statement. Democratic presidential contender Kamala Harris, a California senator, said she is “proud” her campaign is headquartered in Cummings’ district. “Baltimore has become home to my team and it’s disgraceful the president has chosen to start his morning disparaging this great American city,” she said. A spokesman for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, defended the area and its residents. In an email, Michael Ricci wrote, “Baltimore City is truly the very heart of our state, and more attacks between politicians aren’t going to get us anywhere.” Lt Governor Boyd Rutherford, also a Republican, tweeted: “Mr. President, @realDonaldTrump, I have substantial policy differences with Congressman @RepCummings. However, I hope your criticism is not directed at the many good and hard working people who live in the district.”last_img read more