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Scud to Kyrgios: ‘Pick your coach wisely’

Mark Philippoussis agrees Nick Kyrgios should continue flying solo until he’s ready to commit to a fulltime coach.

Kyrgios is vowing to continue going it alone – ala Roger Federer early in his career – after reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open and winning the season-opening Brisbane International to regain a place in the world’s top 15.

“I’ve lost one match this year, so I’m doing alright,” Kyrgios said after bowing out of the Open with a 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (7-4) loss to world No.3 Grigor Dimitrov.

“I like kind of doing things on my own terms. I just like the freedom.”

Philippoussis, a two-time grand slam runner-up who also endured endless scrutiny during his unfulfilled grand slam career, says Kyrgios is doing the right thing.

For now.

“It’s important to surround yourself with a team to give yourself the best opportunity (to succeed),” Philippoussis said as debate rages at Melbourne Park around Kyrgios’ decision to continue going coachless in 2018.

“I definitely think at some stage he’s got to look at one.

“But it’s got to be on his terms and when he’s ready because that means believing in that person and listening to that person and believing that that person can take him to the next level.

“He has the game to go all the way, but there’s certain steps he needs to take in order to get there.”

Philippoussis was super impressed by Kyrgios’ fighting spirit against Dimitrov.

“He has taken one major step on his own in getting there already and that’s the way he’s competing,” Philippoussis said.

“Yes, he’s still going to be vocal about certain things. But that’s his personality and we’ve got to accept that.

“And, hey, if he’s vocal but he’s fighting the way he’s fighting and he’s believing the way he’s believing, then beautiful. That’s no problem at all.”

But, “going forward”, Philippoussis believes Kyrgios needed to employ a fulltime coach in order to challenge for grand slam spoils.

“But it has to be his call and I believe he’s got to be that person to reach out to that person instead of the agents and the managers,” said the former Wimbledon and US Open finalist.

Federer spent almost 18 months coachless after winning his first grand slam crown at Wimbledon in 2003 a month shy of turning 22, Kyrgios’s age now.

“At one point, it’s good to have coaches,” Federer said.

“They remind you day by day the little things if that’s what you’re looking at.

“Other guys do an entire organisation for you. Some guys are really there to inspire you and motivate you.

“Everybody needs different type of coaching. That can come from any angle. Doesn’t almost necessarily need to be a tennis coach, per se.

“But I’m sure Nick has got some people in his team that where he gets what he needs for the matches.

“It’s not one match or one week. It’s every week of the year.

“I’m excited to see what’s next for Nick now.”

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