Tennis Australia will keep Lleyton Hewitt’s arm around the shoulder of Nick Kyrgios, helping to nurse the star through the US Open to next month’s Davis Cup semi-final.
Kyrgios was fined $US10,000 ($A13,550) by the ATP for an obscene sledge of Stan Wawrinka during a second round match at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
The 20-year-old has apologised in the face of near-universal criticism but there will be support and not further sanction from Tennis Australia.
Davis Cup captain Wally Masur said the unsavoury incident hadn’t changed his plans for the tie against Britain in Glasgow.
“He’s part of our plans absolutely,” he told Fox Sports.
“How punitive can you be? At what point do you start to move forward?
“Nick is paying a very heavy price financially, obviously the consequences will go beyond this week, for example amongst his peers on the tour, the ATP player council, they’ll have their say.”
While Kyrgios’ comments have brought him another unwanted moment in the spotlight, Masur said Hewitt was the perfect person to have in his corner.
The 34-year-old Davis Cup captain-in-waiting is in Montreal with the Canberran tyro, combining for an unsuccessful doubles campaign at the Rogers Cup.
While Masur said Hewitt was unhappy that Kyrgios’ slur had stolen the headlines from good Australian performances, he backed the former world No.1 to help bring around public opinion.
“He’s someone that those guys really look up to… he’s someone that can make a difference,” he said.
“We’re looking at a young kid, he’s got enormous potential, he’s a good kid at heart.
“We’re trying to put things in place behind the scenes that can make a difference and help Nick achieve that potential.
“Nick polarises opinion but there’s been a lot of young prodigies come onto tour that have been exactly the same.
“Look at John McEnroe, he was the superbrat ended up becoming one of the most loved players in the game.
“Nick is on a journey… this is all part of a learning curve.”
Kyrgios was stood down from the reverse singles in Australia’s quarter-final win over Kazakhstan in Darwin last month.
Masur said he was “spent” after a physically and emotionally draining Wimbledon campaign.
For all of his support for Kyrgios, Masur said he was most sorry for the targets of his tongue.
“The big pressure was on the third party, was on the girl involved in the sledge … my sympathies lie with her,” he said.
“She doesn’t want to be dragged into this situation and that’s very unfortunate.”