The Australian Open is set to commence on Monday, so expect Rod Laver Arena to be humming with the highs and lows of triumph and defeat, and the groans and grunts of professional tennis players competing to determine who can deliver the most off-putting ‘NYEGHHHHUHHH!’ after a pretty pedestrian forehand.
But for Rob McKinnon (20), an injured, despondent fan of the Australian cricket team, the Australian Open means so much more than two weeks of Grand Slam action. It’s the site of his last great hope.
World No. 35, and Australian bad boy, Nick Kyrgios.
As Tim Paine’s men lost 2-1 to India, and as the tears began to stream down McKinnon’s face, his mind began immediately searching for the next source of sporting inspiration.
For countless summers, he’s been able to rely on the cricket team crushing a revolving door of high-class opposition including New Zealand (2-0), Pakistan (3-0), and a spirited West Indies outfit (2-0). So it hasn’t really mattered that a revolving door of promising young Australian tennis players have been crushed by international superstars.
‘I think it’s Nick’s year, if we’re being honest,’ said a shattered Rob in an exclusive interview (admittedly, it’s not as if anyone else was lining up to interview him, but still, we’ll live).
‘Cricket? Don’t care, mate. If a booming Kyrgios serve doesn’t make you excited for summer, I don’t know what will. Except for maybe a beer or three! Ha ha ha.’
Rob continued to chuckle as those chuckles slowly turned to choked sobs, and then back to chuckles. Best of luck to Kyrgios, but by God would it be good to have Steve Smith back.