Nick Kyrgios admits he’s torn between the freedom of flying solo and the need for direction after owning up to being too soft to challenge for grand slam glory.
Shattered at having his Wimbledon dreams crushed by Andy Murray, after earnestly believing he could win the title, Kyrgios knows he now faces some serious soul searching.
The enigmatic talent was unable to hide his devastation after Murray buried Australia’s last singles hope at the All England Club 7-5 6-1 6-4 in a centre-court masterclass.
“It was a good first set. The rest of the match was pretty pathetic,” Kyrgios said.
“I was really comfortable out there the first set. I thought I was playing some really good tennis. I believed that I could win the match.
“As soon as I lost the first set, I just lost belief.”
Agreeing with three-time champion John McEnroe’s scathing assessment that he crumbled under the Murray onslaught, the 21-year-old world No.18 said he lost it mentally.
“Just a little soft still,” Kyrgios said.
“I think when things get tough, I’m just a little bit soft.
“I mean, I’ve got experience, but it ultimately comes down to just laying it all out there and competing for a long time.
“I didn’t do that today at all.”
McEnroe implored the tennis prodigy to hire a coach after going more than a year now without a full-time mentor.
But the youngest player since the great Roger Federer to reach the last eight at two grand slam events said he didn’t think there was anyone out there capable of dealing with his wavering commitment.
“Like, one week I’m pretty motivated to train and play. I’m really looking forward to getting out there,” he said.
“One week I’ll just not do anything. I don’t really know a coach out there that would be pretty down for that one.
“I mean at times, like I’ve previously said, I don’t love the sport. But I don’t really know what else to do without it.”
Openly admitting he wasn’t applying himself properly, Kyrgios also conceded watching Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt and Jordan Thompson play doubles before his clash with Murray probably wasn’t the ideal preparation.
“To be honest, I woke up this morning and played computer games,” he said.
“Is that the greatest preparation? I don’t know. But it was fun.”
Despite his abject dejection, Kyrgios said it was “diabolical” to suggest he might walk away from tennis.
“I just lost in the fourth round. I didn’t lose in qualifying,” he said.
“I feel like I’m doing all right. I mean, I know that I have the talent to do good things.
“It’s not a bad loss. My record here is 10-3, I think. Every time I come here, I lose to good players.
“But it’s just disappointing. I don’t know. I just want to do better.”