After apparently conquering, or at least reining in, inner demons that threatened his tennis career, Nick Kyrgios was experiencing a Phoenix-like rebirth that saw him beat Novak Djokovic in consecutive weeks.
Equally apparently, however, there may have been something in the food in Indian Wells, California, site of the BNP Paribas Open, that did not agree with Kyrgios and he had to forfeit his quarterfinal match against Roger Federer.
Kyrgios tweeted, “Unfortunately I am unable to play today due to sickness. At this stage we think it’s food poisoning, and I’m praying it’s nothing more.”
Kyrgios’ bad luck came at a particularly inopportune time, as all indications were that if he could hold it together mentally; his prodigious tennis talent was finally going to prove that he is the best Aussie to come along in many years. Maybe not Rod Laver or Ken Rosewall good, but Lleyton Hewitt good, at the minimum.
The sort of play Kyrgios has been producing of late made him a bona fide contender in the grand slams, not only this season, but also for many seasons to come, given his tender age.
Aside from the misfortune to Kyrgios, the incident was a shame from the perspective of Roger Federer receiving a walkover without hitting tennis ball one, and after his win in the 2017 Australian Open, he should at least have to work for it.