Don’t be a wet let­tuce, ban Nick

Stanthorpe Border Post - - SPORT | DIGEST - — Jon An­der­son

TEN­NIS: When it comes to im­pos­ing their most re­cent pun­ish­ment on Nick Kyr­gios (pic­tured), it’s just a mat­ter of which va­ri­ety of let­tuce leaf the ATP chooses.

As pop­u­lar as ice­berg and cos are, they are pos­si­bly both too firm for a body that re­mains a gen­uine con­tender – along with the IOC – for the sport­ing world’s great­est tooth­less tiger. But back to our boy Kyr­gios (how hard it is to write “our boy”) who overnight walked off a ten­nis court in Shang­hai be­cause he no longer felt like play­ing.

That he’s a grossly over­paid sook is be­yond dis­pute, yet the As­so­ci­a­tion of Ten­nis Pro­fes­sion­als has to ac­cept its share of blame for pro­vid­ing the oxy­gen that Kyr­gios re­quires. He’s smart enough to know they need him, en­hanced by the gulf that ex­ists be­tween his rare tal­ents and the im­pec­ca­bly be­haved el­der states­men such as Roger Fed­erer and Rafael Nadal.

The sport des­per­ately re­quires fresh­ness, and Kyr­gios when fo­cused is as fresh and tal­ented as any other young player on the planet. So when the ATP meets to de­ter­mine an ap­pro­pri­ate penalty for Kyr­gios, ex­pect it to be more fi­nan­cial than length of sus­pen­sion.

Lack of ac­tion from the ATP has been go­ing on for years, dat­ing back to the peak years of Jimmy Con­nors and John McEn­roe, two of the great­est punks the game has seen but a duo who ruled the ten­nis world with their foul mouths and boor­ish be­hav­iour.

Had the ATP taken the long stick rather than the soggy rocket leaf to Con­nors and McEn­roe, then bores like Kyr­gios may have been nipped in the bud a whole lot ear­lier.

So what should he get? Give him a year’s sus­pen­sion to see if he misses the game, and if he does then how badly does he want to re­turn?


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