JOHN LLOYD: Nick Kyrgios’ antics are a defence mechanism… he is scared that if he fully commits and doesn’t win a Grand Slam then he will be a failure – and John McEnroe is the perfect coach to get him there
- Nick Kyrgios must dedicate himself 100% if he is to win a Grand Slam title
- The Australian knocked out Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the fourth round
- The way the draw has panned out for him he has a chance to reach the final
It is time for Nick Kyrgios to win a Grand Slam. How does he do that? First, he gets himself a coach. My suggestion? John McEnroe. Second, he has to commit 100 per cent and stop being afraid of failing.
His victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas last night was incredible and with his draw this is now an unbelievable opportunity for him to make the final. But you have to win seven matches to win a Slam and at some stage you have to play percentage tennis.
It cannot all be about entertainment. You can combine it but he hasn’t got the balance right in his career. He claims he is not motivated by winning Slams but I don’t buy it. Are you telling me he wouldn’t take being in the men’s final in seven days’ time? He would love it.
Nick Kyrgios knocked out fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a controversial showdown
John McEnroe could be the perfect coach to help Kyrgios win his first Grand Slam title
Why did he take up the game in the first place? To hit underarm serves between his legs and entertain the crowd? There’s no player that ever plays that is not motivated by winning slams.
All his antics, deep down, I think it is a defence mechanism. Because if he made the full commitment and then didn’t make it to the level where he’s winning Slams, then he’s a failure, in the public’s eyes and in his own.
When he’s losing to someone ranked lower than him and he just starts messing around, it’s almost like justifying it himself — like, I could beat him if I really wanted to. It’s a cop-out.
He’s had a lot of publicity this week, some of it adverse from when he spat in the direction of some fans after his first-round match. That was disgraceful. Sometimes you’re going to be a target for a few people in the crowd. Is that right? No, but you can’t spit in their direction, that’s inexcusable. It’s disgusting.
Australian Open semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas was seeded fourth for the tournament
And so there’s been some talk about whether he is good for tennis. Of course he is, but there’s only so many years when Kyrgios is going to draw the attention if he doesn’t start getting to semis and finals of Slams. It’s only so long you can fool around. He has got to win matches to keep it going, otherwise the attention fades away. The kids like him but fans are fickle and if he’s not going to get the headlines that will fade fast.
He always says, ‘Why do I need a coach, I’m the one doing the work?’
Well, you need a coach because some of the people who have been interested in coaching you have actually won Slams, and you haven’t. That’s why you need a coach.
Like Ivan Lendl did with Andy Murray. Having someone in your corner who has been there and done it, it has to help.
The Australian has claimed that he is not motivated by winning the sport’s greatest prizes
McEnroe has always wanted to work with him and he would cut through all the bull. And how great would that combination work? It would be box office. You could sell tickets just to watch their practice sessions.
But more importantly it could be the difference between him winning a Slam or not. But he would have to commit to it and not be afraid. It’s a fear of failure. He would not admit it, but deep down it is.
PS: How on earth did the Wimbledon scheduling committee not put that thrilling Kyrgios v Tsitsipas match on Centre Court last night?
It was the match of the day, a four-set thriller — the match of the tournament so far, in fact.
Either the committee do not have the pulse of the public’s interest right or they were worried about Kyrgios’s behaviour on Centre Court.
Briton’s on the brink
Yesterday was a tough one for the British players but there are good signs for the future. In the past we’ve had Andy Murray and not much else, while too many with a bit of talent were given too much help and funding. That’s over now and what you’re seeing here is a harder, tougher group. Katie Boulter, Liam Broady, Dan Evans are all legitimate pros and they are all nudging each other on to the next level. And when you start doing that it becomes very healthy.
I don’t think we’re going to have a Wimbledon champion next year but we’re going to have more players getting into the draw without needing a wildcard and that’s the sign of a good tennis system.
You’ve got to start with a group of players in the top 100. The ones who win Slams. To an extent they’re born with it and they would have been champions no matter what country they were born in. We’ve had Murray and now we have Emma Raducanu so we shouldn’t complain but you know things are going well when you have a group of good players.
I think the upward trend will continue and we’re in for a healthy period for British tennis.