Nick Kyrgios, Pro Tennis Fick

Or, perhaps, Nick Kyrgios is the pro tennis Donald Trump?

A fick is someone who is openly unethical and defiant about it. Leroy Fick gave the condition his name when he laughed about collecting public assistance checks in Michigan after winning millions in the state lottery. There have been many ficks past and present: one of them is running for President. Nick Kyrgios is pro tennis’s fick, and the sport is proving itself an ethics dunce of Republican Party proportions by not  banning him from competition until he shapes up.

The gifted 21-year-old, who has already been fined many times for ugly behavior during matches including insulting spectators and officials, sank to new depths this week at a tournament in Shanghai.  Kyrgios blatantly tanked his match against Mischa Zverev, declining to make an effort to win on many points. Among his displays of contempt for the match was  hitting a lob serve  and walking off the court before Zverev  could  return it.  He lost a 48 minute straight-set decision, 6-3, 6-1.

“Nick, you can’t play like that, okay?” The chair umpire said when Kyrgios threw away a point . “It’s just not professional.”

Ooooh, that should scare him! How about, “Do that again, young man, and you’ll forfeit the match and your prize money. And that will be for starters. Understand?”

When a fan criticized him from the stands, he shouted back,  “You wanna come here and play?Sit down and shut up and watch.” Required answer: “Sure. I’ll play.  couldn’t do any worse than you, and at least I’d do my best.” After the match, Kyrgios was asked by a reporter if  his conduct wasn’t disrespectful to paying fans.

“I don’t owe them anything,” he said. “If you don’t like it, I didn’t ask you to come watch. Just leave.”


After officials  reviewed the match, the ATP [ What does this stand for? I have read numerous articles that refer to the “ATP” as a tennis governing body and so far can find none that spell out the name. Incompetent sports journalism.fined Kyrgios $10,000 for lack of best effort, $5,000 for verbal abuse of a spectator and $1,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct. He still earned $35,845 for reaching the second round, so it was a profitable tournament for the jerk nonetheless. This extreme level of unprofessional and arrogant conduct can’t be controlled by fines and polite admonitions. This is signature significance: tanking by a professional athlete is proof of total disrespect for his or her sport, the privilege of being allowed to compete in it, and the paying fans who allow the sport to exist and be profitable.

There are legal barriers to banning Kyrgios from play for a year or so, but that’s what he deserves. This is another example of the Star Syndrome, aka The King’s Pass. Pro tennis doesn’t want to take him off the court because he plays exciting tennis (when he deigns to try) and the organizations still make money of his talents, and even from his misbehavior, as was the case with U.S. tennis jerks Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe many years ago.

All ficks, especially those who attract ethics-deficient fans and followers like Trump and Kyrgios, are like infections in the culture, endangering society’s ethics and norms of fairness, respect, honesty, and responsible conduct. They should be treated like the threats that they are, not coddled and tolerated.

They must be condemned, shunned, and removed.

12 thoughts on “Nick Kyrgios, Pro Tennis Fick

  1. Not that there’s any justification, but why is he throwing matches anyway? Maybe he’s hoping to one day be a reality tv star after his tennis career ala McEnroe?

    • I’ve seen cocky jerks do this when they are REALLY good, but just NOT good enough when they meet a real challenge. So instead of Losing outright in a fair match that shows they aren’t good ENOUGH, they can now just say “whatever, sure he/she won, but it’s not like I was trying. So he/she can have that empty victory”.

      It’s narcissism meeting reality.

  2. I bet this guy is experiencing some sort of mental health problems. He’s prime age for the onset of paranoid schizophrenia or perhaps he’s manic depressive. He evidently tanked when all he’d have had to do was withdraw if he was too exhausted from winning the week before.

    Which the foregoing article sort of intimates (before going on to rehash the old Charles Barkeley “I’m not a role model” justification for pro athlete boorishness). Guys at this age seem to just be at risk of going off the deep end. See eg., Todd Marinovich.

  3. I’ve watched a few tennis matches over the years, either the $10,000 matches or junior matches and the worst I have seen was when a boy started whacking the court with his racket. His mother warned him that if he broke it then his next racket would be a very cheep one from a cut price store. His behaviour improved immediately. After hearing about some of Nick Kyrgios’s behaviour, I find it hard to believe that his bad behaviour was not evident when he was playing junior tennis. That was the time when strong action was needed, either from his parents or the tennis club.

    Also on a different note, about ten years ago I was watching a match sitting next to a Mr. Fick while his daughter Hanna was playing. Every time you call someone a Fick I can’t but help thinking of that as an insult to Mr. Fick, his daughter, and anyone else named Fick, most of whom would hopefully not be like Leroy. Is it not possible to find a label for this bad behaviour that does not have anyone’s name attached to it.

    • Quisling? Crapper? Judas? Hitler? Clintonian? Trumpian? Nixonian? Machiavellian? Sadist? Jezebel? Boycott? Lynch? Luddite? Casanova? Chauvanism? Gerrymander? Masochism? McCarthyism?

      People become words when their conduct is extreme or illustrative of behavior or acts that existing words don’t describe exactly. If Mr. Fick’s relatives are embarrassed by the name, he is the one at fault, and he is accountable.

      • Reminds me of when ESPN prohibited Chris “Ethel Merman” Berman from using nicknames during broadcasts. It evidently annoyed the players. After a few days of his using everyone’s given names (eg. Herman Ruth) the network relented.

        This guy is evidently the savior of Australian tennis, or at least tennis in Canberra. I’m sure he’s been treated like a prince his entire, brief life.

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