Nick could quit

> Banned Kyr­gios could stop play­ing with­out proper sup­port, says Cash

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

AUS­TRALIA’S tem­pes­tu­ous tal­ent Nick Kyr­gios has the po­ten­tial to be a fu­ture grand slam cham­pion but could just as eas­ily be lost to the sport if he fails to get the sup­port he needs, ac­cord­ing to former Wim­ble­don cham­pion Pat Cash.

The 21-year-old was sus­pended for eight weeks by the ATP on Mon­day fol­low­ing his se­cond round exit at the Shang­hai Masters where he clashed with fans, the chair um­pire and walked off the court mid­way through a point against Mis­cha Zverev.

The ban can be re­duced to three weeks if he sees a sports psy­chol­o­gist, which Kyr­gios had com­mit­ted to, ac­cord­ing to Aus­tralia’s ten­nis association.

“I wouldn’t be sur­prised (if he quit) but hope­fully that’s not the case,” Cash told lo­cal ra­dio sta­tion 3AW.

“Any­body’s got the op­por­tu­nity to walk away but if it’s not good for his health then I think he should do that.

“But with some good things in place for his health and well­be­ing, and a re­vised sched­ule ... he can go out there and en­joy his ten­nis, which is what we want to see.”

Kyr­gios posted a lengthy apol­ogy on­line af­ter his Shang­hai melt­down, which came only days af­ter he won the Ja­pan Open, the third and big­gest ti­tle of his ca­reer.

The 51-year-old Cash, a no­table hot­head dur­ing the early part of his ca­reer, said Kyr­gios was “flat and ex­hausted” when he ar­rived in Shang­hai and should never have played the tour­na­ment.

He ques­tioned the ad­vice the Can­berra na­tive was re­ceiv­ing on tour and claimed Ten­nis Aus­tralia (TA) had failed to pro­vide young play­ers with the men­tal sup­port to deal with the grind of the pro­fes­sional cir­cuit.

“Men­tal health and un­der­stand­ing of where you are as a ju­nior should be as manda­tory as hit­ting fore­hands and do­ing stretch­ing be­fore and af­ter a prac­tice ses­sion,” he said. “I’ve talked to Ten­nis Aus­tralia about it and noth­ing has been done.”

TA how­ever, dis­missed Cash’s crit­i­cism as “in­cor­rect,” say­ing sports psy­chol­o­gists were avail­able for play­ers in ev­ery state.

Cash said Kyr­gios was “the next guy” in line for grand slam glory once proven win­ners like Andy Mur­ray and No­vak Djokovic bowed out.

“And who is stand­ing up there? Well, Nick’s the ob­vi­ous one. You tend to see af­ter a great year, a bit of a lull, and (then) he’s got a great op­por­tu­nity to grab a cou­ple of grand slam ti­tles and re­ally be a suc­cess.” – Reuters


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