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Does tennis need more basketball? Kyrgios thinks so

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Bren Gray

After losing to Nick Kyrgios in the third round of Wimbledon 2022, Stefanos Tsitsipas said a fascinating thing.

He declared that Kyrgios “brings a basketball mentality” to the sport. While there have been plenty that irked by the Australian’s basketball-like behaviour on the court, perhaps this is exactly what tennis needs.

“For me, I idolised basketball growing up,” shared Kyrgios recently. “I watched NBA every day, I still do to this day, and I just felt like I was part of that culture.

“I felt like the way they dress, the way they act, I felt super comfortable,” he continued, speaking to Patrick Mouratoglou on his ‘Good Trouble’ podcast. “Just like you feel safe on the tennis court, I feel super safe on the basketball court.

“I love basketball, and I kind of feel as though I bridge the gap between tennis and basketball. Obviously I had the shoe with Kyrie and wearing basketball jerseys, and now everyone’s wearing basketball jerseys on the court.”

One of Kyrgios’ most memorable basketball-tennis crossovers was when the Aussie wore red basketball shoes on court at Wimbledon, garnering a fine for breaking the tournament’s dress code.

There’s no dress code at UTS New York, however, where Kyrgios will be making his return to tennis in August. Many would say the format is a perfect fit for the mercurial tennis player, given the flexibility it has around conduct, and how much it emphasises authenticity.

Tickets for UTS New York are on sale now, and can be purchased here. The event occurs just before the US Open, running from August 22nd to 23rd.