|CANBERRA tennis star Nick Kyrgios was the most mentioned sports person in 2015 by Australian media.
Run-ins with tennis authorities and allegations of poor behaviour on and off the court overshadowed his rapid rise in the ATP rankings. As well as on-court sledging and claims of tanking, he was dropped from the Davis Cup team and had a verbal stoush with Dawn Fraser. Meanwhile he finished the year at 30 in the ATP rankings.
Former Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke is second on the list, with more than 220,000 mentions across the year. He led Australia to a fifth Cricket World Cup win after defeating first-time finalists NZ at the MCG in March, but a disappointing Ashes tour to England followed, with Clarke announcing his retirement from all international cricket before the last Test, following Australia losing its fourth series in a row in
The second tennis player in the top three, Bernard Tomic ended the year ranked 18 by the ATP, the highest ranking of his career. Tomic called for an investigation into Tennis Australia’s own conduct after a fall-out with Davis Cup Captain Pat Rafter and claimed the organisation has been disrespecting him. Later in the year, Tomic told a press conference he agreed that he and Nick Kyrgios need to “control our personalities”.
Steve Smith took over the Australian captaincy in Test and one-day cricket during the year, achieving success against England in a one-day series and NZ and the West Indies in Tests with a significantly changed side following the retirements of Clarke, Watson, Rogers, Haddin and later Johnson. His own form was strong through most of 2015, becoming Australia’s highest ranked batsman.