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In an interview to ESPN, the former player David Nalbandian commented on Nick Kyrgios' controversial attitude. "I see in Kyrgios a very talented guy but apart from that, I see he is in conflict with himself. If that's not a problem then it's another one, he has problems with people and opponent..."
‘He needs a slap’: Why Nick Kyrgios may have already peaked as a tennis star at the age of 24
Respected tennis journalist Adam Peacock believes Nick Kyrgios has peaked as a player because he’s failed to show the required levels of discipline to reach his undoubted potential.
Speaking on The Back Page on Tuesday night, Peacock ruminated on a volatile week for Kyrgios in which he was defaulted from the Rome Masters for throwing a chair on the court.
The tempestuous Aussie star then filmed himself saying the upcoming French Open “absolutely sucks”, ensuring he’ll receive a frosty reception from the Roland Garros crowd.
That came after he slammed Rafael Nadal as “very salty” and perceived Novak Djokoic’s desire to be liked as “cringeworthy” on a podcast with tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg.
“Astonished,” Peacock said of the French Open slur. “But that’s the norm with Nick Kyrgios at the moment. He continues to make headlines. I think he makes more headlines here than anywhere else in the world, so I don’t think it will be too vitriolic when he gets to the French Open. But they won’t take kindly to it.
“He’s now alienated people watching him, and he does that. But he also gets people behind him because he is a point of difference. But his big problem is in the locker-room given his comments that we’ll get to in a moment.
“He’s trying to prove something. I’m not sure what it is. I’ve got a fair idea what it is. It’s that ‘I don’t care’ so whatever happens, happens. Maybe a version of existentialism or something.
“I think he’s lowering expectations. He doesn’t know what he is in terms of a professional athlete. So I don’t know how we can comprehend what he is as a professional athlete.
“I don’t get people who invest emotion in this guy, watching him and get disappointed after things like this happen (getting defaulted). His track record suggests that things like this happen. This was out there, the first time he’s done that — pegged a chair.”
Fellow Back Page panellist Paul Gow, a former professional golfer, was damning in his condemnation of Kyrgios.
“I think you’re right, he’s lowering his expectation as a professional athlete,” Gow said. “That’s what you’ve got to do sometime, is lower that down, but this is to another level. He is a fair dinkum brat, he needs a slap. It’s a privilege to be a professional athlete, and he might make 20, 30 million dollars but at the end of the day he’s a brat.”
Veteran News Corp journalist Robert ‘Crash’ Craddock, also a panellist on The Back Page, raised the possibility that we have seen the best of Kyrgios as a player despite being only 24.
“The thing is: who’s going to slap him?” asked Craddock. “I mean, (Roger) Federer said it was only a chair. When I saw that I thought that’s tennis’s problem.
“But two questions. One, has he got any mates that can drag him into line and take him for a beer or something? And secondly, have we seen the best of him, even though he’s only 24? Do you feel he’s on this spiral down now?”
Peacock was in agreement.
“I reckon we have seen the best of him because there’s nothing to suggest that he’s going to put in on a consistent level to get to the level we thought he might get to once upon a time,” Peacock said.
“I had a bet with Mark Bosnich that he’d make the top 10. I keep on doubling it and doubling it and unfortunately I’m going to owe Bozza a house by the end of that.
“But the mate question is a big one. I don’t think he’s got the people around him that are really going to tell him how it is.
“And even if he did, he’s not going to listen. He’s got people like Lleyton Hewitt, Wally Masur, some greats of Australian tennis, telling him how it is. He’s not listened. So he’s not going to start now.
“He was saying Nadal has got no respect. He has made a sworn enemy and that’s hard to do with Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic. If Nadal plays Kyrgios at the French Open it could end up like an episode of Game of Thrones.”
OMG, they are gonna skewer him alive. It may give him motivation to fight, but I except a first round loss!!