Davis Cup captain Wally Masur has taken some responsibility for Nick Kyrgios’ much-criticised performance in Australia’s Davis Cup tie against Kazakhstan.
Kyrgios exclaimed loudly: “I don’t want to be here” during his 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 loss to 115th ranked Aleksandr Nedovyesov, as Australia tumbled to a 2-0 deficit on the first day in Darwin.
The 20-year-old was dropped for the reverse singles as Australia fought back for a 3-2 victory.
Masur said various circumstances meant he hadn’t been able to spend as much time with Davis Cup players this year as he would’ve liked, and didn’t realise the extent to which Kyrgios was still struggling with the fallout from his controversial Wimbledon campaign.
“Had I been more actively involved I think I would’ve had a better read on Nick,” he told Fox Sports on Wednesday.
“Everything that happened to him at Wimbledon took a toll, and I wasn’t fully aware as a 20 year old kid of the toll it had taken, and just where he was emotionally.
“I actually take some responsibility for putting him in that position.”
Masur still believed the Davis Cup tie would prove beneficial for Kyrgios, who revelled with teammates at celebrations after veterans Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth turned the tie around to claim an away semi-final berth against Great Britain.
“I said to him, ‘Nick, you’ve got the potential to be a leader of this team in the years to come with the personality you have’, guys feed off him, there’s no doubt about it,” Masur said.
Masur recommended Kyrgios refrain from spending too much time on social media, where he came in for considerable abuse throughout the Wimbledon tournament for his behaviour.
“The stuff they are writing, it’s verbal abuse, and I’m sure if someone said it to you on the street you could call a cop,” he said.
“You’ve got to get away from that. It’s not healthy.”
Meanwhile, Masur is hoping the issues that led to Bernard Tomic’s suspension from the Darwin tie can be resolved behind closed doors well before Australia take on Andy Murray and his Great Britain team following the US Open.