Nick’s search for new Aussie coach

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - LEO SCHLINK

ROGER Rasheed’s split from Grigor Dim­itrov has paved the way for the re­spected Aus­tralian coach to team up with Nick Kyr­gios.

But nei­ther party is talk­ing pub­licly about the prospect as spec­u­la­tion con­tin­ues that Kyr­gios will be­come Rasheed’s next pro­ject.

Dim­itrov ended his part­ner­ship with Rasheed on Mon­day, hours af­ter Kyr­gios’ painful Wim­ble­don exit.

Dim­itrov’s off- court part­ner Maria Shara­pova is said to have had a rocky re­la­tion­ship with Rasheed and ul­ti­mately in­flu­enced Dim­itrov’s de­ci­sion.

Kyr­gios sacked Todd Larkham on the eve of his trau­matic Wim­ble- don cam­paign a year af­ter split­ting with Si­mon Rea, also at the All Eng­land Club.

Rasheed, 46, has worked with Lley­ton He­witt ( 2002- 07), Gael Mon­fils ( 2008- 11), Jo- Wil­fried Tsonga ( 2012- 13) and Dim­itrov ( 2013- 14).

Aus­tralian Davis Cup cap­tain Wally Ma­sur sug­gested ei­ther Rasheed or fel­low South Aus­tralian Dar­ren Cahill as ideal coaches for Kyr­gios. Mark Wood­forde also be­lieves Rasheed is the right fit for Kyr­gios, who is us­ing his man­ager John Mor­ris as in­terim coach.

Rasheed is known to be in­ter­ested in work­ing with Kyr­gios but will need to agree to a deal with Ten­nis Aus­tralia and Kyr­gios’ man­age­ment.

TA di­rec­tor of per­for­mance Pat Rafter said Kyr­gios had to de­cide what he wants.

“The only one who can coach him is a per­son he wants to lis­ten to,” Rafter said. “And he has to want to take that on and I don’t know who that is.

“He’ll know, but he’s got to be ready to lis­ten to that per­son, who­ever that is.

“That’ll be a de­ci­sion Nick will have to come up with in his time.”

Kyr­gios clashed with man­ager Mor­ris dur­ing his fourth- round loss to Richard Gas­quet, or­der­ing the English­man out of Court Two.

Mor­ris watched the rest of the match from the locker room.

A home­sick Kyr­gios flew back to Can­berra overnight. It is un­der­stood he did not want to leave Aus­tralia in April be­cause of an ill fam­ily mem­ber.

The em­bat­tled 20- year- old said on so­cial media: “Head­ing home to­day. It’s been a long trip, great and not so great ex­pe­ri­ences for me but all good learn­ing and I’m grate­ful for the op­por­tu­ni­ties to keep mov­ing for­wards.

“Look­ing for­ward to tak­ing a few days off and see­ing my friends at home be­fore fir­ing it up again for Davis Cup in Dar­win.

“I may even write a cheeky blog on the flight!!”

Kyr­gios spent part of Mon­day night in the Wim­ble­don Vil­lage with close mate Jack Sock as con­tro­versy con­tin­ued to dog him.

Fated to slip out of the top 40 when the world rank­ings are up­dated on Mon­day, Kyr­gios is dev­as­tated by Dawn Fraser’s racist com­ments about him and Bernard Tomic.

MEN­TOR WANTED: Aus­tralia's Nick Kyr­gios re­turns the serve of Richard Gas­quet dur­ing his fourth round loss at Wim­ble­don.

Pic­ture: ADRIAN DENNIS

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