Former world No.1 John McEnroe says Nick Kyrgios is buckling under pressure and has urged the young Australian to look to calmer contemporaries to pull himself back into line.
“He’s having such issues right now,” McEnroe said on ESPN.
“The pressure’s getting to him. As a 20-year-old kid, I did my share of dumb things, inappropriate things at times.”
McEnroe’s on-court antics earned him the nickname Superbrat, but the once-gifted left-hander believes Kyrgios can make better use of his energy.
“I think he’d be well-served to look at the guys like (Rafael) Nadal, the guys that go out there, tremendous effort players,” he said.
“He can’t afford to waste as much energy as he’s wasting with these sort of off-court comments … He’s tremendously talented. He’s charismatic. He’s got a look that’s different. He brings something to the table.”
McEnroe’s advice come shortly after another former legend had a light-hearted poke at Kyrgios.
“Behave, young man,” 14-time grand slam champion Pete Sampras reportedly told Kyrgios at a promotional event in New York on Monday ahead of next week’s US Open.
Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard tweeted the dig, which she joked was the “highlight of the night” attended by current and former champions including Serena Williams, Nadal, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi and Maria Sharapova.
World No.37 Kyrgios, the lowest-ranked player at the event, mixed with the all-star cast and managed to avoid any of his usual controversy.
The 20-year-old later retweeted Bouchard’s post along with numerous other photos of himself at the event in Lower Manhattan.
Hours earlier the ATP announced Kyrgios had been found guilty of “aggravated behaviour” for his lewd on-court sledging of French Open champion Stan Wawrinka.
The ATP imposed a suspended 28-day ban and $US25,000 ($A34,280) fine which can be invoked if the hot-headed, loose-lipped star transgresses again.