New York, Aug 27 (IANS) Tennis great John McEnroe believes controversial Australian player Nick Kyrgios should look up to Spaniard Rafael Nadal who cannot afford to waste energy on non-sport related tussles or issues.
Kyrgios has been given a suspended 28-day ban and fined $25,000 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for making lewd remarks about Stan Wawrinka’s girlfriend. Kyrgios jibed at Wawrinka during a match in Montreal a couple of weeks ago saying, “(Thanasi) Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend. Sorry to tell you that, mate”.
“He’d be well served to look at the guys like Nadal, the guys that go out there, tremendous effort players. These guys are so professional now that he can’t afford to waste as much energy as he’s wasting with these sort of off-court comments that he’s making that just cause more problems for him,” ESPN analyst McEnroe said.
The American said Kyrgios is getting too much focus which is making the 20-year-old crack down under pressure.
“There’s so much focus on him that he’s cracking under pressure. Hopefully he’ll regroup and come out of this a better man and a better player. That’s what my hope is. But that’s just the way that the system operates. He’s got to be on his toes,” the former World No.1 said.
“But to think that we don’t need personality, that’s crazy. In all sports people want to see that. But, I mean, there comes a point where if you take it too far and you’re not good enough, you’ll be gone. That happens in all sports also.”
The seven-time Major winner believes Kyrgios has the talent in him which he needs to channelise properly.
“As far as what I personally hope, I feel that he could be a tremendous positive for the game. He’s tremendously talented. He’s charismatic. He’s got a look that’s different. He brings something to the table. But obviously if he goes down this sort of black hole and loses, which I don’t want to see happen, but he’s not heading in the right direction now,” the 56-year-old said.
“He can turn it around and I’d like to see him turn it around because we need that spark in tennis. When he smooths out the edges, he could be a tremendous positive for the game, and a top-five player.”