Sorry Nick Kyrgios, but a grand slam win is light years away

Glenn Mitchell Columnist

By Glenn Mitchell, Glenn Mitchell is a Roar Expert

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    Nick Kyrgios was an embarrassment last night.

    Sadly, it was not the first time and doubtless it will not be the last.

    His second-round loss to Italian world number 89, Andreas Seppi was yet another lost opportunity.

    Pre-tournament Kyrgios was talking up his chances. What he threw up against Seppi was not the stuff of a man entrenched in the world’s top-20.

    His unravelling last night was bizarre as Hisense Arena was transformed into Nonsense Arena.

    Two sets to love up and seemingly cruising towards a third-round clash with Belgian world number 71, Steve Darcis, a berth in the round of 16 was looking like a formality.

    But from that point on it all went pear-shaped for the world number 13.

    He went from being energised and businesslike to someone who seemed totally disinterested.

    In the space of eight minutes in the third set he copped two code violations for verbal and racquet abuse and, as a result, was docked a point.

    He also spent time yelling at his own support crew in the box. The theme seemed to be issues with the way he had been prepared for the tournament.

    Suddenly, the pep in his step was gone as he moped around the court.

    Everything seemed to have become a drudgery as his body language became akin to a man being led to the gallows.

    His shoulders slumped, he dragged his feet between points and before he knew it Seppi had levelled at two sets apiece.

    Towards the pointy end of the final set things entered the realm of the seemingly unbelievable.

    With scores locked at five-all, staring at a break point, Kyrgios chose not to play a backhand to a ball that landed on the line.

    The first point of the next game, with Seppi serving for the match, produced the most bizarre moment of the match.

    On what should have been a regulation groundstroke, Kyrgios chose to play the ball back between his legs.

    A ‘tweener’ at that point wreaked of a man who could not care less.

    Remarkably, he won the game to level at six-all before holding a match point at 7-8 on Seppi’s serve.

    He could not convert it and the Italian went on the claim the match 10-8 in the last.

    Despite his lack of application for much of the last three sets the crowd did its best to will him on with each point won being met with raucous applause.

    There were even boos when twice the Seppi kissed the net and the ball dropped over for a winner.

    But, when Kyrgios left the arena the boos were directed at him.

    Take nothing away from Seppi, he hung tough and deserved the win but he was greatly aided in his endeavours by a man who appeared to have given up.

    John McEnroe has spoken often of Kyrgios’ talent, but equally, he has called into question his attitude.

    He did so again after this defeat, saying, “What I don’t understand, what I can’t accept, is when he stops trying. It’s a black eye on the sport”.

    McEnroe was never a role model for on-court behaviour but one thing he never did was tank.

    One could only imagine what was truly going through the mind of Kyrgios’ Davis Cup captain.

    Lleyton Hewitt was doing his best to comment on what he was witnessing but I doubt he really expressed his full thoughts.

    For a man who fought for every point in every match he played he must have been gutted to see such a limp performance from a fellow Australian.

    The fans deserved better. They deserved to see a full commitment towards winning.

    Some will say that they should know what to expect when they part with their hard earned to watch Kyrgios play.

    The problem is, fans pay for tickets to a grand slam well before the schedule is released.

    Last night they were ‘treated’ to a man who cared little for the result.

    Kyrgios’ media conference contained little remorse, with his opening answer being, “I am not going to beat myself up about it.”

    He did however allude to one area of his game when he said, “I don’t think there is anyone else in the top-100 without a coach except me. I think the mental thing is big to me. That’s when a coach would be good.”

    Time will tell as to whether he will engage a full-time mentor.

    Regardless, the current world number 13 appears a long way away from seriously threatening for a major, let alone winning one.

    Yes, he may have the talent, but as he freely admitted last night his mentality is not at the level that is required.

    Glenn Mitchell
    Glenn Mitchell

    After 21 years as a sports broadcaster with the ABC, since mid-2011 Glenn Mitchell has been freelancing in the electronic and written media. He is an ambassador for mental health in Australia, and tweets from @mitchellglenn.

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    The Crowd Says (157)

    • January 19th 2017 @ 7:17am
      Michaelj said | January 19th 2017 @ 7:17am | ! Report

      Surely this is a police matter now.

      • January 19th 2017 @ 9:02am
        Michaelj said | January 19th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        People are just dancing around the issue.

      • January 19th 2017 @ 9:56am
        Mad Max said | January 19th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

        I know right … such a serious matter. He’s a kid, let him be.

        • Columnist

          January 19th 2017 @ 10:35am
          Glenn Mitchell said | January 19th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

          Mad Max, where millions of dollars change hands on betting markets it is incumbent on the sport’s authorities to to do their best to ensure that players do their best on court. I am in no way suggesting that Kyrgios’ loss last night falls into that category but such actions are looked upon unfavourably by the ATP, hence the fine and suspension Kyrgios received after tanking at the Shanghai Open.

          And BTW Max, given Kyrgios is almost 22, at what age does he cease being a “kid”?

          • January 19th 2017 @ 1:49pm
            spruce moose said | January 19th 2017 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

            You are so far off the mark here Glenn.

            I implore you to look harder at the issue at hand here. It has nothing to do with the integrity of the betting markets.

            Kyrgios is not accountable for your (or anyone else’s) desires to place a wager on his matches.

            It would be like someone putting money on Glenn Maxwell getting a century only to see him charge down the pitch ball one and try a switch hit and get stumped. I can’t go to him and say, “I put money on you, why didn’t you block the first ball you goose?”

            If Kyrgios doesn’t want to commit, then that’s his decision and he’s a bad sport for doing so. But if you bet money on him and he does that, then I’m sorry Glenn, but that’s entirely your decision and entirely your fault. It’s never his.

            He’s only at fault if he is deliberately match fixing…which no one here is seriously suggesting.

            • January 19th 2017 @ 1:56pm
              northerner said | January 19th 2017 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

              In principle, I agree with that – but there is so much money at stake in gambling these days, that there are incentives for players, coaches and referees to bend the odds. I’m not suggesting for one minute that Kyrgios does that – but the sports integrity authorities would be remiss not to be taking a long hard look at these sorts of things.

              • January 19th 2017 @ 2:41pm
                spruce moose said | January 19th 2017 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

                The only time you’d do it though is if you are intending to match fix.

                If Glenn is not suggesting that Kyrgios is match fixing then his entire thread is by extension a load of tripe.

              • Columnist

                January 19th 2017 @ 5:25pm
                Glenn Mitchell said | January 19th 2017 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

                What I am saying Spruce is it is one of the reasons sports organisations want integrity in their sport.

                Sorry you see that thought as tripe.

            • January 19th 2017 @ 3:11pm
              northerner said | January 19th 2017 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

              Kyrgios is not accountable for anyone losing money on betting, true. But Kyrgios is responsible for putting out his best effort, and it’s questionable whether he did that here. He certainly didn’t in Shanghai. And given his responsibility for best effort, the responsibility of the authorities to ensure the integrity of the game, and the enormous threat to that integrity posed by gambling, then it would be remiss of the authorities not to cast a gimlet eye over his behaviour. And whether or not there were any shenanigans going on with the betting, Kyrgios is at fault for not putting out his best effort, which is actually a requirement of the ATP Code of Conduct.

              • January 19th 2017 @ 3:39pm
                spruce moose said | January 19th 2017 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

                That I agree with entirely.

                He should be punished for not trying.

                But to say he should be punished because it then influenced the betting markets (as Glenn is saying) is utterly laughable.

              • Columnist

                January 19th 2017 @ 5:23pm
                Glenn Mitchell said | January 19th 2017 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

                Where did I say Spruce Goose that he should be punished for influencing the betting markets?

                In fact, I do believe I said that I was in no way saying he fell into that category.

                I was alluding to what Northerner has said, which interestingly you say you agree entirely with so I don’t actually see what your beef is with my original comment.

              • January 19th 2017 @ 4:29pm
                northerner said | January 19th 2017 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

                Okay, I see the distinction you’re drawing. I’m not sure that’s exactly what Glenn meant, but I get where you’re coming from now.

              • Columnist

                January 19th 2017 @ 5:41pm
                Glenn Mitchell said | January 19th 2017 @ 5:41pm | ! Report

                You are right Northerner, Spruce has misconstrued what I said. I agree 100% with your analysis of the situation.

          • January 19th 2017 @ 9:52pm
            Angus said | January 19th 2017 @ 9:52pm | ! Report

            LEAVE HIM ALONE…he’s still a very young guy…has many years ahead of him for goodness sake. Your headline and article is typical of you media guys…TALL POPPY SYNDROME synonymous with the Australian media!!!!

            • Columnist

              January 19th 2017 @ 10:11pm
              Glenn Mitchell said | January 19th 2017 @ 10:11pm | ! Report

              Sorry Angus, but I believe he deserves to be scrutinised for that performance. I wasn’t aware that we are not supposed to comment on player performance.

            • January 20th 2017 @ 1:10am
              jeff milton said | January 20th 2017 @ 1:10am | ! Report

              tall poppys dont lose in the second round

    • January 19th 2017 @ 7:51am
      I hate pies said | January 19th 2017 @ 7:51am | ! Report

      I think Kyrgios is afraid of trying and losing, so as soon as it gets hard he drops his bundle. He’s a classic frontrunner in the vein of the Brazilian soccer team.

      • January 19th 2017 @ 8:33am
        Christo the Daddyo said | January 19th 2017 @ 8:33am | ! Report

        Nailed it.

        He’s essentially the exact opposite of Hewitt. He was someone who was afraid of not trying. Hewitt wasn’t blessed with much talent, but he had an unwavering belief in his ability to ‘will’ his way to victory. Kyrgios has all the natural talent in the world, but no ticker.

        • January 19th 2017 @ 5:41pm
          Bee bee said | January 19th 2017 @ 5:41pm | ! Report

          I have seen a version of last night in some social competitions over the years. A young guy turns up to the local tennis club dressed like a pro prancing around like Mohammed Ali in his Nikes. Then (1972 club champion) 73 yr old Fred walks out on the court and they think, “This will be fun I am gonna whoop Grandpa 6-0.” Problem is Grandpa has played tennis for 65 years and plays tennis in his sleep……..Fred gives the chump a tennis lesson and the young guy ends up smashing his $400 racquet and throwing his $200 Nikes in the creek on the way home. Then he gets home and yells at his Mum, blaming her for losing because she got him a cheap Raquet not the $500 one he wanted. Never mind that Fred beat him with a $19.95 1986 aluminium pro kennex.

          It rocks the very foundations of their ego. They have been told they have talent and want to believe it but talented people don’t lose to Gramps.

          This type of behaviour is not new but seems to be particularly noticeable and ugly in some young Australian pampered men. It is not just confined to tennis or even sport. The simple solution is respect for others, humility, learning to love the game not the result. Or even simpler. Stop playing the sport.

          I honestly believe Nick is trying too hard. It’s obvious he is invested and actually desperately wants to succeed. He hides his hurt behind a fog of “I don’t like tennis, I don’t care…” He looks like a guy who needs some serious thinking Time.

          Either that or make him watch “Good Will Hunting” a thousand times until he gets it. He would be a fascinating guy to work with as a psychologist. Sadly I doubt he is ready to be honest with himself and listen to even basic advice, let alone allow someone to challenge his ego/foundation.

      • January 19th 2017 @ 8:53am
        Paul said | January 19th 2017 @ 8:53am | ! Report

        Woah, hang on there, Brazilian soccer team? where does that come from? I can only assume you are speaking of the spectacular collapse to Germany in 2014 but I can’t agree that it was front runner syndrome that caused that. They played Chile in the round of 16 which went to penalties and they played Columbia in the quarters which was a very tight game, I believe they were the weaker team in both of those games and willed themselves to victory. When they faced Germany they were entirely spent. The most important thing is they were missing their 2 most important players in Neymar and Thiago Silva, I say this is the most important thing not because of the quality of those 2 players but because Scolari the coach had built the entire structure around them. You take those 2 pillars out and suddenly the whole team lost cohesion, thus the collapse. That’s not to take anything away from Germany. Also you don’t lose the game in the first 30 minutes from a mental collapse that is generally reserved for the second half. 5 – 0 in 30 minutes is a structural failure, in other words bad coaching and lack of personnel.

        Moving on to the qualifiers for the 2018 WC they started the qualifiers horribly and that was down to the coach and team selection. A change of coach middle of last year saw them go on a 6 game win streak and they are playing amazingly well.

        So I disagree that the Brazilian soccer team is mentally weak.

        • January 19th 2017 @ 9:31am
          Brian said | January 19th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

          The whole brazilian team yes but there is a lot if ronaldinho in krygios. He could of been messi or ronaldo except as soon as ut got hard he went missing

      • January 19th 2017 @ 10:25am
        James Jackson said | January 19th 2017 @ 10:25am | ! Report

        +1

    • January 19th 2017 @ 7:53am
      jonty smith said | January 19th 2017 @ 7:53am | ! Report

      He is light years away because every time he loses momentum, he has a brain explosion and is near to no chance of winning the set, or in some cases, the match. His carelessness was shown by doing a nonchalant tweener when seppi was serving for the match. Or was the tweener to make up to the crowd for his earlier wrongdoings

      • January 19th 2017 @ 8:14am
        Felix said | January 19th 2017 @ 8:14am | ! Report

        It was bizarre and showed his lack of respect for the entire spectacle – himself, Seppi and the fans. I hope he quits the game and goes and shoots hoops with his mates. Give the spot to someone who will fight for it.

        • January 19th 2017 @ 10:16am
          Bring Back...? said | January 19th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

          Absolutely right Felix, he has no respect for others.

    • January 19th 2017 @ 8:35am
      Steve said | January 19th 2017 @ 8:35am | ! Report

      I hate pies, absolutely correct. I played cricket at a pretty high level with a guy who had exactly the same mindset. Extremely talented but hated to be seen to be trying, especially when things got tough. It wasn’t necessarily in tough situations that he would fold but if he wasn’t in control he would just give in.

      Comment from The Roar’s iPhone app.

    • Roar Guru

      January 19th 2017 @ 9:10am
      Mister Football said | January 19th 2017 @ 9:10am | ! Report

      He has attitude problems. So what – it’s his business – he plays as an individual in an individual sport. He moves onto the next tournament. If people don’t like watching him, switch the channel. If he wants to do just enough merely to make a decent living out of tennis, he is entitled to do that. When he’s no longer good enough, someone else will take his place, life goes on.

      • January 19th 2017 @ 9:15am
        c said | January 19th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

        well said mf and i am sure the world tennis officials appreciate him for the interest he brings to the game

        • Columnist

          January 19th 2017 @ 9:19am
          Glenn Mitchell said | January 19th 2017 @ 9:19am | ! Report

          C, I am not sure they appreciate a man who they have to suspend and fine because he tanks.

          • Roar Guru

            January 19th 2017 @ 9:26am
            Mister Football said | January 19th 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

            Tanking is generally undertaken to gain some sort of advantage for a team.

            What Nick does is not tanking, he’s only putting in enough effort to earn a living and no more. He doesn’t have to do any more. If his effort drops off to minimal, his ranking drops and he ultimately drops out of the tour and can no longer make a living.

            He is entitled to do just enough to earn a living. If he can do no more mentally and/or physically, that’s no one else’s business but his own.

            • January 19th 2017 @ 10:14am
              clipper said | January 19th 2017 @ 10:14am | ! Report

              Don’t think the ATP, or for that matter the betting agencies, would agree. Think the ATP states you have to put every effort into your game, not just enough to get by on. Think a few people have been fined for not putting in their best effort.

              • Columnist

                January 19th 2017 @ 10:21am
                Glenn Mitchell said | January 19th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

                You are spot on. Whilst the likes of Mister Football appear happy for Kyrgios to play as he does the tennis authorities do not, hence his fine and suspension following his tanking at the Shanghai Open.

              • January 20th 2017 @ 9:19am
                Buddy Holly said | January 20th 2017 @ 9:19am | ! Report

                Agree with Mister Football. It is not tanking. I assume there are days when we all go to work and don’t put in 100% effort. The problem here is a young adult on a huge public stage trying to control his emotions. I don’t agree with what he does but it doesn’t mean it is tanking because betting agencies don’t like it. gambling should not morally govern how a player performs. Kyrgios should get a coach and listen to the ATP.

      • Columnist

        January 19th 2017 @ 9:24am
        Glenn Mitchell said | January 19th 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

        Mister Football, I take it from what you are saying that you would be quite happy for every participant in a solo sport to not give his best.

        • Roar Guru

          January 19th 2017 @ 9:31am
          Mister Football said | January 19th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

          Looking at his capacity, both mentally and physically, that is what he is capable of. I don’t see it as tanking, and even if people think he has more to give, if he can’t give it because of mental or attitude issues, then that’s just bad luck. It’s his own business, and if he can continue earning a decent living making the 2nd round of tournaments, and not going further, well, he’s entitled to do that . When he’s no long good enough to do that, when his ranking drops too low, someone else will take his place.

          Why do people get so wound up about it? It’s an individual sport, it’s his business, he’s the one who has to live with it, he doesn’t owe anyone anything.

          • Columnist

            January 19th 2017 @ 9:36am
            Glenn Mitchell said | January 19th 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

            We shall agree to disagree Mister Football. When you pay good money a few months out from a grand slam to reserve a seat I think you deserve to see a player give his best. What Kyrgios did last night was unacceptable, but as I said, we shall agree to disagree.

            • January 19th 2017 @ 9:55am
              Mad Max said | January 19th 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report

              Kind of agree with Mister Football … and I was at the Aus Open on Tuesday but would have loved to have been at the game last night, and was made uniquely entertaining the way he played … he does it his way, it is an individual sport … give him another few years and will know where he’s at, until let the show roll on … I personally wouldn’t have watched the Aus Open last night on TV unless he was playing (the Big Bash was on and missed Sodhi taking 6 for 11) … surely that’s good for the game??

              And his press conference was hysterical.

              • January 19th 2017 @ 10:39am
                Sydneysider said | January 19th 2017 @ 10:39am | ! Report

                MF, I agree with you.

                I’ve watched Kyrgios play several matches and it’s his mental state that costs him matches. He can’t concentrate and keep his head for a full match.

                If he wants to eek out a tennis career playing like this, it’s his decision.

                I am not surprised he lost in that manner last night. Roger Federer was right about him, he isn’t mentally ready to win 7 straight matches to win a grand slam title.

                He’s only 21 but he’s got a lot of growing up to do.

              • January 19th 2017 @ 2:26pm
                Rory said | January 19th 2017 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

                It’s not good for the game. The game is just a game – involving court, racquets, traditions and rules. It has no consciousness and doesn’t care whether zero or a million people are watching. It is good for television ratings, advertisers and sponsors, and the businesses behind the scenes, as it gets the attention of people who otherwise have no interest in the game. This is not the same as the game itself.

            • January 19th 2017 @ 10:21am
              ballychook said | January 19th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

              Glenn, the match was on Hisense. I may be wrong but I thought that stadium was no longer reserved seating and is open slather to anyone with a ground pass. If that’s right then everyone in that stadium was there by choice. So if you choose to go & watch Krygios then you do get what you deserve. Frankly I thought everyone should have just walked out as soon as it became obvious he was losing his marbles.

              • Roar Guru

                January 19th 2017 @ 11:10am
                Mister Football said | January 19th 2017 @ 11:10am | ! Report

                Thanks for the confirmation ballychook, I thought that was the case, but wasn’t 100% sure.

                People are obviously gluttons for punishment!

              • January 19th 2017 @ 2:48pm
                Mad Max said | January 19th 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

                100% right … I had a ticket to RLA and anyone can go to Hisense … problably why they schedule NK there (plus he likes the sadium)

            • January 19th 2017 @ 1:10pm
              Brendan said | January 19th 2017 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

              I get what MF is saying but at the same token what about the fans that pay good money to watch Nick play.

              That same money is used to PAY him for his half hearted effort.

              Nick is entitled to put in a half hearted effort if he so desires, but at the same time, he can also return the cheque he received for wasting peoples time cant he?

            • January 19th 2017 @ 2:19pm
              spruce moose said | January 19th 2017 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

              Now you are on the right track Glenn.

              That’s the issue at hand. People have paid good money to watch two people play hard. Kyrgios should be accountable for that.

              He’s not for your gambling losses though. That’s the risk you take.

          • January 19th 2017 @ 10:31am
            Mango Jack said | January 19th 2017 @ 10:31am | ! Report

            Except the fans who have paid good money to see professional players give their best effort. If that’s what it was, in other words his injury is psychological, he needs treatment before he resumes playing. It’s not good enough to expect people to pay to watch that rubbish display.

            • January 19th 2017 @ 11:35am
              ballychook said | January 19th 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

              The fans in that arena chose voluntary to watch a player with a dismal record for attitude – they knew or should have known that it was a good chance Krygios would put on such a display. On this occasion I don’t think they can complain.

              • January 19th 2017 @ 12:36pm
                Mango Jack said | January 19th 2017 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

                Agree that he has form in this regard, but he was talking himself up before the tournament and went well in round 1, so I think the fans had a right to expect more. I suspect if this continues, less and less people will take the risk.

      • Roar Guru

        January 19th 2017 @ 9:34am
        Chris Kettlewell said | January 19th 2017 @ 9:34am | ! Report

        There is an aspect of that. People look at someone like Kyrios and feel like he’s wasting his talent, feel like somehow he’s playing for us and so should kill himself trying to win etc. But outside of professional sport plenty of people are wasting their talents doing just enough to earn a living and we don’t care about them. He can play half-arsed and still be top-20 in the world. He won’t challenge for Grand Slams or the top-10 like that, but he’s still able to maintain a good living.

        I suppose when you have a player playing like that and still almost winning you just wonder what he could do if he really gave it 100%, and that becomes frustrating. But tennis is an individual sport, so technically the only person he’s letting down is himself and he’s entitled to do that to an extent. Though I do believe that the ATP and ITF do have rules requiring players to actually be trying to win, and when they look to play a match where they almost don’t care it can potentially be breaking the rules of the sport. (Such things are open to match fixing and all sorts of things like that and hence they need to have rules about such things. An individual sport like this is a lot easier to fix than a team sport, so if someone wanted to get well on top and then throw the match they could and it can be completely in their control!)

        • January 19th 2017 @ 11:34am
          Mango Jack said | January 19th 2017 @ 11:34am | ! Report

          Chris, although primarily himself. I think there are more people that he is letting down. Support staff and family for starters. Tennis Australia as well, who presumably have been supporting his career to some extent. Then there are Aus tennis fans who are desperately looking for the next local star to win a major, and remember that he talks up his chances.

          It’s not just the fact that he is clearly not fulfilling his physical potential, it’s the petulant way he goes about blaming others when it all falls apart on court. If he is happy to remain a top 20 player but never win a major, fine, state that publicly, stop blaming others, and then we all know what to expect. I’d have a lot more respect for the guy if he did that.

      • Columnist

        January 19th 2017 @ 10:50am
        Glenn Mitchell said | January 19th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

        i am not sure Mister Football why you make the distinction that Kyrgios is an individual and thus we should not care about him deliberately underperforming. Should we feel the same about a team laying down to manipulate draft picks or to alter their seeding ahead of finals?

        • Roar Guru

          January 19th 2017 @ 11:13am
          Mister Football said | January 19th 2017 @ 11:13am | ! Report

          Teams sports are different to individual sports.

          Using footy as an example, we buy memberships for teams sports, we feel part of the club.

          But when you watch an individual perform, good or bad, that individual plays for themselves. That individual owes us nothing. If they are not good enough, they drop out and another individual comes in to take their place.

          • Columnist

            January 19th 2017 @ 11:22am
            Glenn Mitchell said | January 19th 2017 @ 11:22am | ! Report

            People do not take up a membership to watch the Davis Cup team play. Are you suggesting then, using your analogy, that given you do not then feel part of the team, there should not be any issue if Kyrgios does not give his best while playing Davis Cup?

            • Roar Guru

              January 19th 2017 @ 11:36am
              Mister Football said | January 19th 2017 @ 11:36am | ! Report

              Regarding the Davis Cup team, the selectors have to take into account Kyrgios’ mental toughness. If they think he’s not up to it, he misses out on selection.

              • Columnist

                January 19th 2017 @ 11:55am
                Glenn Mitchell said | January 19th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

                That didn’t really answer my question Mr Football. You say that people feel part of a team because they take out a membership. Memberships are not specifically required to follow and support a sporting team. Are you suggesting that only members should feel aggrieved if their sporting team deliberately underperforms?

                Should we feel aggrieved, even though we don’t buy a membership, if any player deliberately underperforms while playing Davis Cup or should we him simply as an individual in a team and not be concerned about it?

              • Roar Guru

                January 19th 2017 @ 3:24pm
                Mister Football said | January 19th 2017 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

                We know from the AFL, NRL and other club competitions that people invest emotionally (as well as money) into supporting clubs.

                Do they do that in respect of tennis players? Some might, but I doubt too many would invest emotionally in Kyrgios, and he would be fine with that.

                That makes it a non-issue.

                He has publicly stated he has no passion for the game. To date, he has shown he may not have the mental toughness to compete at this level. He is still allowed to make as much money as he can from the game, knocking around at a lesser level.

                That’s that, why are people concerned that he does not appear to be meeting the benchmarks they have set for him in their own imaginations?

              • Columnist

                January 19th 2017 @ 4:52pm
                Glenn Mitchell said | January 19th 2017 @ 4:52pm | ! Report

                I am sorry Mister Football but I have a different view. I have an 11yo son and my message to him and the teams I coach is to always do your best and if you lose so be it. I think that is the way sport should be played – give it your best. And I hope that having admitted last night that he needs a coach, Kyrgios does not end up with one who is merely happy to see him behave as he currently does and give up.

                As for investing money in a club and as a result expecting total commitment from the players how many kids around the world have had posters in their bedrooms of Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, David Beckham and Michael Jordan etc yet not spent one dollar on the clubs they play for re membership and have never attended a single game?

                There aren’t memberships as such for the Socceroos, Wallabies and AUS cricket team yet people expect the individuals who play for them to give their all.

                If they do not they are rightly criticised and questioned. I do not subscribe to your theory that just because they are in an individual sport we should be happy with elite sportspeople disrespecting the sport and fans by not giving their all.

                There are plenty of people who invest emotionally in sportspeople who play individual sports. Roger Federer had 6000 people turn out to watch him practice a few days before the Hopman Cup in Perth. Millions of fans want to see him win another grand slam and idolise him as a sportsperson. They also expect him to try as they do with other elite individuals in sport.

                Muhammad Ali was idolised. How would he have been viewed if he had taken a dive and simply conceded a bout?

                Last night a lot of fans invested money & emotion in Kyrgios. The cheering and barracking for him was akin to a football match. In return, through choice, he gave them nothing and was not surprisingly booed in the end.

                Whether you are in an individual sport or part of a team, I believe it is incumbent on elite level performers to commit to the cause.

                We shall forever disagree on the validity of Kyrgios’ performance last night. You see it as acceptable for individuals to act as he did but not individuals who inhabit a team environment.

                I do not agree.

            • January 19th 2017 @ 11:37am
              Mango Jack said | January 19th 2017 @ 11:37am | ! Report

              Good point. He should not be picked again for Davis Cup until he consistently demonstrates commitment and maturity on court.

          • January 19th 2017 @ 4:12pm
            JW said | January 19th 2017 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

            The main issue with not trying in team sports (and why you can’t get away with it) is that u let down your team mates.
            Tennis and Golf you’re really only letting yourself down at the end of the day.

            • Roar Guru

              January 19th 2017 @ 4:17pm
              Mister Football said | January 19th 2017 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

              That’s right, so it’s a matter for him to determine how much he wants to put in. If he can make a good living playing at 90%, and he’s happy with that, so bit it.

              • January 19th 2017 @ 6:40pm
                Furreal said | January 19th 2017 @ 6:40pm | ! Report

                “If he can make a good living playing at 90%, and he’s happy with that, so bit it.”

                And if you think his persona is indicative of a happy person, then you’re as wrong as much as Kyrgios is a quitter. And because your so eager to rush in and defend him, then I guess you really don’t believe it also.

                After all, why would a happy, well adjusted tennis player need to be defended by anyone such as yourself? The evidence would speak for itself, wouldn’t it? After all your the one who said that he told the world his heart wasn’t in the game, so why would a happy person do something they don’t really enjoy, when they got the money he probably has?

              • Roar Guru

                January 20th 2017 @ 10:00am
                Mister Football said | January 20th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

                Is it a case of defending, or just concluding: it’s his business. Why get so worked up about it?

          • January 19th 2017 @ 4:34pm
            northerner said | January 19th 2017 @ 4:34pm | ! Report

            MF – you ask “why are people concerned that he does not appear to be meeting the benchmarks they have set for him in their own imaginations?” But the key benchmark here is giving your “best effort,” and that’s not in anyone’s imagination, that’s in the Code of Conduct. If he can’t abide by the code, he should get ready for a long line of fines similar to the one he got in Shanghai. And perhaps consider alternative career options.

      • January 19th 2017 @ 1:24pm
        Pablo said | January 19th 2017 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

        MF – I dont care what he does with his time or his own money, however he is a beneficiary of funding from Tennis Australia – and that’s our money. If he doesn’t care about trying or not, then no public funds should be diverted away from other kids to support this fool. As long as he accepts funding generated from hard working tax payers he has a duty to respect that.

        • January 19th 2017 @ 4:15pm
          JW said | January 19th 2017 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

          I assume he pays taxes now so probably paying that funding back quite quickly. Although maybe he has offshore residency.

        • Roar Guru

          January 19th 2017 @ 4:18pm
          Mister Football said | January 19th 2017 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

          I’m happy for zero funding to be made available to all sportsmen.

          • January 19th 2017 @ 6:24pm
            Furreal said | January 19th 2017 @ 6:24pm | ! Report

            Well then say bye bye to half the AFL and NRL cubs then.

            • Roar Guru

              January 20th 2017 @ 10:00am
              Mister Football said | January 20th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

              Government has more important priorities than supporting elite sport.

              • Columnist

                January 20th 2017 @ 10:38am
                Glenn Mitchell said | January 20th 2017 @ 10:38am | ! Report

                I am not too sure how sport would survive without government money for major stadia Mister Football. Who else do you invisage would pay the hundreds of millions of dollars required to build stadia?

          • January 19th 2017 @ 7:59pm
            Mango Jack said | January 19th 2017 @ 7:59pm | ! Report

            Or at least on a loan basis, like HECS.

        • January 19th 2017 @ 6:56pm
          duecer said | January 19th 2017 @ 6:56pm | ! Report

          Pablo – it’s not ‘our’ money, it’s Tennis Australia’s money. Money they make, a lot of which comes from the Australian Open. I presume it’s a Not for Profit organisation, but not a government organisation.
          Their objectives I presume would include fostering the game of Tennis so to put money in a promising youngster in the hope the said youngster will increase interest and participation in the game meets that requirement.
          However when the said youngster then behaves in the way he has, it doesn’t do the image much good, but unfortunately there isn’t exactly a lot of players coming through to take his spot.
          TA is very lucky we have the Grand Slam and the huge profits it makes, most other countries are not so lucky.
          I have always believed that money paid to these players should have to be paid back, like a HECS debt if you make over a certain amount.

    • January 19th 2017 @ 9:57am
      Republican said | January 19th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

      Australian Tennis is mediocre by world standards and has been for decades but alas our expectations remain reminiscent of a bygone era.
      What is interesting is that our lowly international status in the game has not affected its participation and support, since these remain very high comparative with other sports in the Australian market.

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