‘Trou­bled Nick could quit’

Aussie great Pat Cash wor­ried Kyr­gios will walk away from ten­nis

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

Aus­tralia’s Nick Kyr­gios made the head­lines for all the right rea­sons at Wim­ble­don in 2014 when he stunned Richard Gas­quet and later Rafael Nadal.

How­ever, that was prob­a­bly the last time the con­tro­ver­sial Kyr­gios en­joyed what was be­ing writ­ten about him.

The out­spo­ken Aussie has had sev­eral emo­tional out­bursts both on and off the court, invit­ing fines, warn­ings and the dis­plea­sure of nu­mer­ous op­po­nents.

Most re­cently, he was pulled up by the ATP for lack of ef­fort in his 6-3 6-1 loss to Mis­cha Zverev at the Shanghai Masters and fined him $25,000 in ad­di­tion to the pre­vi­ous $15,000 (for in­sult­ing a spec­ta­tor).

To add in­sult to in­jury, the gov­ern­ing body banned him for eight weeks only agree­ing to re­duce it if he en­tered a “plan of care” where he sought the help of a sports psy­chol­o­gist.

But for­mer Australian great Pat Cash, who also had a rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing volatile, he be­lieves the lat­est ban could force Kyr­gios into quit­ting ten­nis. He said: “I wouldn’t be sur­prised [if he quit] but hope­fully that’s not the case.

“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.” Cash, who touted Kyr­gios to be “the next guy” after No­vak Djokovic and Andy Mur­ray’s reign at the top ended, ex­pressed his dis­ap­point­ment over Ten­nis Aus­tralia’s (TA) al­leged fail­ure to pro­vide men­tal sup­port to play­ers. “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,” added Cash. “I’ve talked to Ten­nis Aus­tralia about it and noth­ing has been done.”

How­ever, Ten­nis Aus­tralia were quick to dis­miss Cash’s al­le­ga­tions and claimed that the play­ers of­ten “have ac­cess to two or even three of them [sports psy­chol­o­gists],” TA spokesman Todd Wood­bridge told Reuters.

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