Nick Kyrgios Announces Return To Tennis This Weekend… As A Coach

A man of many talents.

Nick Kyrgios Announces Return To Tennis This Weekend… As A Coach

Image: Getty

Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has sent fans into a frenzy following his latest post on social media, announcing his return to a competitive tennis tournament held in Los Angeles this weekend.

Love him or hate him, Nick Kyrgios is blockbuster tennis, and last year’s Wimbledon finalist has been making headlines in recent months following a late withdrawal from the Championships and even endorsing a Saudi-led bid for part of the ATP circuit. Even when Kyrgios isn’t playing he’s piquing global interest in his activities, and today’s announcement is no different…

Founded in 2020, The Ultimate Tennis Showdown is the newest international tennis tournament borne out of the increased disruption to the regular tennis calendar due to the pandemic. This year, for the first time, the UTP is hitting Los Angeles for the first time, with Australia’s own Nick Kyrgios due to feature in the tournament.

Withdrawing from the Wimbledon Championships this year, the current world No. 33 was fighting to recover from a wrist injury he sustained during the Mallorca Open and has since had to pull out of competing in the UTS scheduled for this weekend. He is, however, still going to feature – just not in the way you might expect.

Nick Kyrgios will coach Frances Tiafoe at the UTS this weekend. Image: @k1ngkyrg1os

Together with UTS, Kyrgios has announced he’ll be returning to the courts this weekend in LA but in a much different capacity, coaching American star Frances Tiafoe in the “sudden-death” tournament from the sidelines.

Competing against Tiafoe at UTS will be Gaël Monfils, Taylor Fritz and Alexander Bublik.

The rules for UTS are much different to the traditional tennis matches we’ve been watching at Wimbledon this month, with each match consisting of four quarters totalling 8 minutes each, plus unlimited time for sudden death. During the regular time, players compete for points in a tie break format within the 8 minutes; after which, the player who leads after regular time only has to score a single point in “sudden-death” to win the quarter, but the challenger can draw level without conceding a single point to take the game to a decider. The winner of the quarter is the first person to reach the target.

Coaching of players is permitted throughout the match, much like in boxing or football, with coaches occupying the bench to the side, with both player and coach equipped with microphone to broadcast the instructions in-game. UTS claim that through this more public display of coaching, fans are brought closer to the process of professional sports and even interact with players in between points.

Kyrgios’ inclusion into the Showdown would have added increased star appeal across the two-day tournament, but Kyrgios’ involvement will now be limited to coaching from the players’ bench – but this could be where Kygios really finds his voice.