Australia should be overjoyed to have a talent like Nick Kyrgios and need to cut him some slack, says former tennis star, now politician, John Alexander.
Alexander pleaded for the 20-year-old not to be torn down amid accusations he tanked in his fourth-round loss at Wimbledon to Richard Gasquet.
Kyrgios denied he gave up when questioned about his efforts against the Frenchman’s serve mid-match.
“Please give him a chance – give him a second break, give him a third break,” the Liberal MP told Sydney’s 2GB.
“Don’t tear this young fellow down.
“Yes, he had a bad second set and he let it go – emotions got the better of him.
“Kids who are normal and aren’t involved in high-level sports at that age get terribly emotional when things don’t work out for them.”
Alexander, who won seven professional singles tour titles in the 1970s and 80s, disagreed with Olympic swimming legend Dawn Fraser – who suggested Kyrgios and fellow tennis star Bernard Tomic set a better example or go back to the where their parents were from.
Kyrgios and his family believed her comments were racist, a label Fraser denied.
“She has always been a real character … and she was expressing her heartfelt opinion,” said Alexander.
“I’ve got a different opinion – I think Nick Kyrgios is just a great talent.
“We should be overjoyed to have such a talent, ok – cut him a bit of slack.”
Alexander surmised Kyrgios and Fraser might in fact have a lot in common, despite their war of words on Tuesday.
“Two great Australians and so much in common – plus being great at their respective sports,” he said.