Tennis

A complicated talent - Nick Kyrgios.

Nick Kyrgios reveals why he never trains on clay courts

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As a general rule, Australian tennis players are brought up on hard and grass courts, and clay is a surface that provides a searching test of their overall talent.

The country's top two male players in the last 20 years, Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt, competed admirably on the foreign surface, with the former's best performance in nine visits to Roland Garros being a semi-final appearance in 1997.

Meanwhile, Hewitt reached a quarter-final in 2001 and in 2004 respectively, while making the fourth round on four other occasions.

The next generation of young guns from Australia now face the same obstacle, and the main face of the new breed is Nick Kyrgios.

The 22-year-old is a rare talent with all the skills you could wish for, however, his temperament has been his undoing on many occasions.

While his on-court demeanour is disliked by many tennis fans, he does have a funny side that he brings from time to time.

Speaking after his first round straight set win over German Phillipp Kohlschreiber, Kyrgios is not a big fan of the dirt that comes with the territory of playing on the surface.

Eurosport reported Kyrgios as saying: "I don't really like running. I don't like that my shoes get dirty.

"I don't train too much on clay as it makes my car dirty.

TENNIS-ATP-MADRID-OPEN

"It can be enjoyable. I play well on clay but it's not my favourite surface," he said.

Some may well see those comments as Kyrgios being a "prima-donna", but in many ways it is the young Australian being his honest self.

He does not speak in cliches and is sometimes too honest for his own good.

He has regularly said that he does not love the game of tennis, and would much rather be on the basketball court.

However, he has a true talent and slowly he is starting to realise that.

After not having a coach for a few years, he called upon former French star Sebastian Grosjean to assist his development.

"To get to the top five and compete in the slams I need to have someone in my corner. It's time now to knuckle down," he said.

Kyrgios has not passed the third round of the second Grand Slam on the calendar, but a strong showing here could well be the making of him.

Mutua Madrid Open - Day Six

He is one opponent the top players in the world fear the most as he has a lot of weapons to trouble them and he usually has no fear of the occasion.

In many ways, his toughest opponent is himself, and if he can correct that important part of his game, he can be a true contender for many years to come.

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Topics:
Tennis
Rafael Nadal
Maria Sharapova
Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic
French Open
Andy Murray

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