In a remarkable turn of events, top-ranked Australian male tennis player, Nick Kyrgios, has declared his availability to represent the nation at the upcoming Rio Olympics for Pokémon GO via Twitter. The 21-year old had previously ruled himself out of selection for the Australian tennis team following a public stoush with Chef de Mission, Kitty Chiller. However, Kyrgios has now put his hand up to compete across all events for the popular smartphone app and it's understood he's been training day and night in an effort to level-up his Pokémon before the games begin.
When asked whether his dramatic career move would prove a success, Kyrgios replied "Yeah so it's been a lifelong dream of mine to represent Australia at the Olympics, I wanna be the best like no one ever was. Anyway, there are heaps of similarities between playing tennis and playing Pokémon GO. I've obviously performed in a lot of high pressure situations, check out all those 5-setters I've won, and just think about my hand-eye coordination, it's definitely better than your top Pokémon trainers out there. Putting me on the plane to Rio is basically a no brainer."
After meeting with the Australian Olympics Committee, officials were thrilled by Kyrgios' change in attitude but left confused about the exact nature of his planned career switch and what Pokémon GO actually was. It is believed Chiller was not present at these talks and has refused to comment on the matter. With Tennis Australia in crisis control, the organisation is reportedly considering a flexible arrangement allowing him to compete as a dual athlete in an effort to keep the world number 19 from leaving the tennis court for good.
Kyrgios' decision to swap sports comes after the worst defeat of his career, recently suffering a 7-6 3-6 6-3 loss against 370-ranked, Denis Shapovalov, in the first round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto on Tuesday morning. The Australian was cautioned several times by the umpire and eventually copped yet another code violation, after repeatedly asking his 17-year-old opponent for help in defeating the local Pokémon Gym when changing ends. It is rumoured the Canadian turned down his offer after the match, leaving Kyrgios to lose again in a one-sided encounter.
While commentators were unimpressed by Kyrgios' 18 double faults as he appeared to be rushing through points on his racket, Kyrgios has since maintained his service technique was "spot on" for throwing Poké Balls on his phone and he'd soon be able to "catch them all". The athlete also received plenty of criticism over his 44 unforced errors but did manage to capture a Charizard after winning the second set, strengthening his claims of being Australia's top Pokémon GO trainer.
It is unknown whether Kyrgios is aware that Pokémon GO is not an official Olympic sport.