Davis Cup tennis captain Wally Masur believes Lleyton Hewitt is an ideal choice to mentor troubled young star Nick Kyrgios.
Kyrios’ mother Nill has revealed that 20-year-old will be in the hands of Hewitt for guidance and counsel in the lead-up to next month’s US Open.
As a young player Hewitt, now 34, experienced the transition from an emotional, misunderstood rookie to respected statesman of the game.
Masur feels with Hewitt’s experience the new partnership will help get Kyrgios back on track.
“The timing really couldn’t be better,” Masur said.
“With Nick, one of the rising stars of the tour, it’s a great opportunity for (Hewitt) to mentor and pass on some of his experience and knowledge.”
The pair are scheduled to play doubles together at this week’s Montreal Masters.
Kyrgios also returns to singles action in the Canadian tournament with a first-round clash against Spaniard Fernando Verdasco on Wednesday morning.
Kyrgios parted ways with coach Todd Larkham in the lead-up to Wimbledon and has yet to decide on a permanent replacement.
But Kyrgios’s mother Nill told the Canberra Times her son looked up to Hewitt.
“He will listen to Lleyton because he knows what he’s talking about, he’s been at the top and been world No.1,” said Nill Kyrgios.
“What Nick doesn’t like is when people who haven’t been in that situation give him advice, but he’ll listen to someone like Lleyton.
“Lleyton’s been through everything that Nick is going through.”
Nill said her son “wasn’t in a good head space” after the recent Davis Cup tie against Kazakhstan in Darwin.
He lost his opening singles match and did not play again as Australia recovered from a 0-2 deficit to win.
Kyrgios struggled with the negative backlash following his tempestuous Wimbledon campaign, when he was booed by the crowd after appearing to give up during a game in the fourth set.
Nill said his opening Davis Cup singles loss worsened his state of mind and he was so downcast he was unable to play the reverse match.
“People perceive Nick got dropped, but there was no way the way he was (mentally) he could have won that singles match, he just couldn’t do it,” Nill said.
It’s not yet known whether Hewitt will also play at the US Open.
Masur felt Hewitt would also benefit having the young gun in his corner ahead of the Davis Cup semi-final against Great Britain later in September.
“It’s the perfect preparation for both of them leading into the US Open and Davis Cup semi-finals,” Masur said.