Tennis

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Nick Kyrgios deserves more patience

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Nick Kyrgios is widely regarded as one of the brightest youngsters to emerge on the ATP tour for a number of years. In such a patriotic sport such as Tennis, most players receive undying support from their home nation, however this is far from the case for the Australian. There are some underlying reasons for the underwhelming response he receives.

The 21-year-old has given his critics plenty to write about with some of his antics along the way. He regularly vents his frustration at match officials, earning a number of fines in the process. He may not have that warm loveable aura that others have had in the past, and in all honesty, he is not emotionally tied to the sport.

Kyrgios sees the sport more than a job than a sense of enjoyment that you may have come to expect from a professional athlete. He has said on numerous occasions that it is not his chosen sport of interest (which is NBA basketball) and that he just plays it because he is good at it and he admits he doesn't know what else to do without it.

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It is an attitude that a generation of tennis fans down-under find hard to accept especially having watched the likes of Lleyton Hewitt and Pat Rafter play every point as if it was their last, leaving every last ounce of effort on court.

The overall narrative of Kyrgios is an intriguing one to follow. In many ways, he represents the country of his birth on the global stage, but Tennis is also such an individual sport so he doesn't really have anyone to answer to, like someone playing in a team sport would do.

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To be fair to him, being so young he is basically growing up in front of all our eyes. He is going to have tantrums, frustrations and moments where he just wants to let it all out.

After his fourth-round defeat to Andy Murray at Wimbledon, Kyrgios cut a forlorn figure, seemingly at a loss about what happened on centre court where he was dismantled in straight sets in well under two hours. An honest Kyrgios admitted that not for the first time he had been "a little too soft" and saying he played "pathetically" after the first set.

After a number of press conferences where Kyrgios has confrontations with journalists both at home and abroad, it was refreshing to speak with honesty and where he thinks he is currently placed in the game.

Day Seven: The Championships - Wimbledon 2016

However, it is also a sad situation where it is clear to see that he is lacking guidance to enhance his undisputed talent. Currently, he hasn't got a coach and a strong support network surrounding him in times of need. The likes of John McEnroe has implored him to get one, while close friend Murray said he may need a psychologist to clear up any mental demons that he may have.

In terms of moral support from the media, he certainly does not get that on the home front. There is a sense of victimisation and the chance to put the boot in is done with a sense of relish. There is always a negative undertone attached to a story about Kyrgios. Even if he wins a match and nothing out of the ordinary happens, it is like they are waiting for the next time. Kyrgios says it doesn't bother him as he is used to it, but it adds another complex layer to the saga.

Day Seven: The Championships - Wimbledon 2016

He is the current player ranked just outside the top 10 that the big boys fear the most, due to the fact of his unpredictable game. While this can be to his disadvantage against incredibly disciplined players like Murray, other times he can blow his opponent off the court.

He may not be liked by some of those in his country, but he deserves to be respected and given 'a fair go'. For those who criticise his demeanour and attitude, not everyone is the same and how dull would it be if that was to be the case?

In terms of talent, his journey in the game is only just beginning and he can go as far as he wants to as the world is at his feet. He just needs to heed the advice from those who have been in the game a long time and he will be well on his way to success.

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Topics:
Wimbledon
Tennis
Andy Murray

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