One of the game’s most complex former players has taken a stab at trying to explain the phenomenon that is Nick Kyrgios.
Former bad boy John McEnroe, now a television commentator decades after his tennis prime, gave Australia’s Nine Network his theories on what makes the complicated Kyrgios tick.
The summer Wimbledon finalist has thrilled and shocked the sport in equal measure, accumulating hundreds of thousands of dollars in disciplinary fines while displaying some of the most fluid tennis on the Tour – when he’s in the mood.
Mac, 63, has been-there, done-that.
“He’s the one I’m most compared to, and he’s the one, if he were to commit, he can bring a lot of good things to tennis in the coming years,” McEnroe said of the ATP No. 20.
Kyrgios is currently off court after withdrawing from Basel this week and Paris next week due to knee problems.
But paradoxically, he is due to travel to Mexico City next month for an exhibition with Gael Monfils, his participation in doubles at the ATP Finals form November 13 in Turin remains uncertain.
McEnroe said the confusion comes with the territory where the unpredictable Aussie is concerned.
“Nick brings real results, there are quite a few new fans in the sport because of him, that’s really positive,” the veteran said.
“In a way, it’s electrifying . I’d like to think I brought some of that to tennis too when I started.
“There’s a certain fear of failure, and we all try to deal with it in some way.
“It’s complicated, and Nick has always had a problem with that because of his anxiety, the fear of going out there, doing your best and not being enough.
“I’ve dealt with it too , it’s complicated, so I’m nobody to say what he should do.”
Main photo:- “Mac the Mouth” John McEnroe confronts the umpire at Wimbledon 1983 – by Roger Parker, Fotosports International