The Australian Open has only been running for a little over two days and it’s already birthed a bizarre and confusing trend.
If you were watching Nick Kyrgios‘ first round singles match against Liam Broady last night, you might have been confused by the enormous amount of booing during the game… As well as why Kyrgios was lapping it up. But the crowd wasn’t saying ‘boooo’, they were saying ‘siuuu’ – they were actually supporting our local lad, Kyrgios.
But where does it come from? Well, ‘siuuu’ is actually the signature victory cry of football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. The legendary Manchester United player regularly makes the ‘siuuu’ cry when he scores a goal (which happens pretty often), along with his signature pirouette and chest out celebration.
Ronaldo has explained that “I started to say ‘si’, which is like ‘yes’ when I was at Real Madrid. When we win, everyone says ‘SIUUU’ and I started to say it, I don’t know why. It was natural… I always say, the best things come in a natural way,” the Portuguese phenom told DAZN Italia back in 2019.
It’s not clear why fans at the John Cain Arena decided to celebrate Kyrgios’ success with Ronaldo’s cry, but it certainly didn’t hurt Kyrgios: the 26-year-old Canberran securing a convincing 6-4 6-4 6-3 victory over Britain’s Broady.
Kyrgios was appreciative but bemused about the ‘siuuu’ chant during his post-game interview with Jim Courier, saying “I can’t believe they did it so much… I thought they were going to do it for like 10 minutes. They did it for two-and-a-half hours, like every point. I don’t know why…”
“It was a zoo out there.”
At one point during the game, Kyrgios even paused during his service to banter with to the crowd: “it’s too much… once every set, yeah?”
Not everyone’s such a fan, however. As The Age has pointed out, “you had to feel for [Kyrgios’] opponent Liam Broady, though. He’s from Manchester in England, where Ronaldo plays for Manchester United. Broady barracks for City. If you didn’t know the ‘siuuu’ and don’t know English football, then suffice to say City and United fans don’t much like one another.”
Broadly also thought the mostly local crowd was actually booing him to start with. “It’s the first time I’ve ever walked onto a tennis court and been booed which for me was a crazy experience,” he told reporters initially.
Fellow Pom Andy Murray was also confused by the ‘siuuu’ chant, joking with reporters that it’s “painful stuff”.
“Initially, I thought it was [jeering], because there were some people booing during my practice yesterday. I have no idea what for… But then after a few times it was like: no, they’re doing that, I think it’s like ‘siuu’ or something that Ronaldo does when he scores. And, yeah, it was incredibly irritating,” he said with a smile. So he can’t be too ticked off.
While it’s great to see tennis fans so fired up to support Kyrgios and other players, we have to admit that it’s a bit annoying – and it does sound a little too close to booing. What’s wrong with a good old ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi’?