Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash says forget trying to rein in Nick Kyrgios as tennis’s wild child continues to push the limits at the All England Club.
Kyrgios, promising fans “a circus” when he takes on German showman Dustin Brown in the second round on Thursday, has been fined $US2500 ($A3,380) for unsportsmanlike conduct in his opening match.
Kyrgios drew the equal-heaviest sanction of the tournament thus far after raising the ire of umpire Mohamed Lahyani during his four-set win over Radek Stepanek.
Kyrgios has history with Lahyani, who took the unusual measure of advising the 15th seed and Stepanek pre-match to “be careful with the language and try to keep the racquet in your hand”.
The Australian refused to answer questions about Lahyani’s warning in his post-match press conference, having earlier joked “we’re good … we’re not good, but …”
Kyrgios, though, did challenge the Swede when he was handed his code violation, while clearly believing he was being singled out by the official.
“What did I say?,” Kyrgios said repeatedly.
“So you’re telling me every single person that has said that in this chair has got a code violation?
“You are telling me that? In the history of tennis? Every single person? You tell me that. That’s rubbish.”
Kyrgios’s lively start to the championships followed a series of clashes with officialdom during his run to the fourth round last year.
But asked on BBC how to solve the Kyrgios problem, Cash agreed with nine-times women’s champion Martina Navratilova’s “good luck” response and said his fire was all part of the package.
“The bottom line is that Nick is Nick and he’s going to blow up – and that’s his personality,” Cash said.
“He’s unbelievably interesting. A mate of mine said to me ‘when that Kyrgios kid comes on, I can not turn the TV off’.
“One, (because) he’s super-talented. Two, because you just never know what’s going to happen.
“But he is an unbelievable talent.
“Can you rein it in? Can you say ‘calm down?’ I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
“Obviously you can’t go around swearing and throwing racquets when there’s kids and all that sort of stuff.
“He’s trying, but I don’t think it’s really him. It’s a bit like Andy Murray; do you say ‘you’ve got to stop getting emotional or stop getting grumpy?’
“He’s just not that personality.”
Navratilova said she wouldn’t go messing too much with the coachless talent either, while John McEnroe believes the 21-year-old has “got an opportunity to be something spectacular” if he can just temper his on-court emotions.
“I don’t think you need to really change anything,” Navratilova said.
“You don’t really need to coach him. You just need to channel it in the right direction so he doesn’t beat himself.”
McEnroe has long been a huge fan of the two-time quarter-finalist.
“I really believe he can be the best player in the world,” the former world No.1 told BBC 5 Live Sport radio.
“If he gets his head together and figures out how.”