JOHN LLOYD: Nick Kyrgios’ antics have got to be curbed

JOHN LLOYD: Nick Kyrgios’ antics are a defence mechanism… he is scared that if he fully commits and doesn’t win a Grand Slam then he will be a failure – and John McEnroe is the perfect coach to get him there

  • Nick Kyrgios antics must be curbed after the umpire lost control of the match
  • The Australian bad boy knocked out Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the fourth round 
  • Tsitsipas was unable to play and got so frustrated he hit the ball into the crowd 

Nick Kyrgios should have been defaulted last night. The umpire totally lost control of the match, the tennis became secondary and it became almost impossible for Stefanos Tsitsipas to play.

I like an entertainer but this was way over the top. As his opponent said it was like playing in a circus.

I look back at my day and it’s just a different mentality. When John McEnroe was doing some of his stuff he was getting booed by the crowd and now when Kyrgios is doing it he gets cheered and Tsitsipas was the bad guy. That’s mindboggling to me.

Nick Kyrgios should have been defaulted in his controversial win over Stefanos Tsitsipas

When John McEnroe (pictured) was doing similar stuff he was getting booed by the crowd

When John McEnroe (pictured) was doing similar stuff he was getting booed by the crowd

When the line judge came up to the umpire and told him about Kyrgios swearing he made a decision not to warn him and that was a big mistake.

Maybe the umpire decided to just let that one go but with Nick you’ve got to stamp your authority because otherwise he’ll walk all over you and that’s what he did.

Then when Tsitsipas hit the ball into the crowd and Nick was asking for a default he said to the umpire: ‘Wait ‘til I go into the press conference afterwards, what I’m going to say about you.’

You can’t say that stuff, that’s intimidation and the umpire allowed himself to be intimidated. 

He was completely subdued and he didn’t know what to do. He was on the phone all the time, I presume he was talking to the supervisor. And once you do that you’re not in charge of the match any more.

Australian Open semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas was being bullied by what was going on

Australian Open semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas was being bullied by what was going on

That kind of behaviour has got to be curbed because in the end the tennis becomes secondary and Tsitsipas became so frustrated because he was almost being bullied by all the stuff going on. Kyrgios was basically trying to disrupt his opponent’s game.

He wasn’t really allowed to play tennis he was rushed into everything. I know you play to the pace of the server but this was ridiculous, Kyrgios was serving within two seconds.

It was non-stop verbal stuff from the beginning, constant insults towards the umpire, calling him useless. You’ve got to stamp your authority and say, ‘Listen, if you say that one more time you’re out of here.’

If it’s an isolated incident, you let off steam, an umpire makes a bad decision, it’s the heat of the moment, we’ve all done it, I get it.

The Australian Kyrgios went off at the umpire about 20 to 30 times during his latest match

The Australian Kyrgios went off at the umpire about 20 to 30 times during his latest match

But this was 20 to 30 times when he went off at the umpire, he was complaining about every single bloody thing. It becomes boring and the tennis becomes secondary.

And Tsitsipas was the one who suffered from that and his frustration boiled over when he hit the ball into the crowd. For Tsitsipas to get a point penalty and Kyrgios just a warning for all he did was a joke, a complete joke.

I played with Jimmy Connors and Mac and their behaviour wasn’t even on the same planet as that.

All that being said and done he hit some shots last night where you go: ‘Oh my god this guy is a bloody genius.’

If he serves like the way he was in patches no one would like to play him. But then I’m not convinced he’s going to steamroll Brandon Nakashima in the next round, anything could happen.

He should get to the semis now and if he does he would play Rafael Nadal and I’m telling you: Rafa would not have allowed that to happen last night. He would made much more of it to the umpire, got the supervisor. He would not have allowed himself to be dictated to like Tsitsipas was.

Tsitsipas tried to set himself apart from it and stay calm but against Nick you can’t do that, you have to engage. You have to stick up for yourself and he didn’t do that.

 Briton’s on the brink

Yesterday was a tough one for the British players but there are good signs for the future. In the past we’ve had Andy Murray and not much else, while too many with a bit of talent were given too much help and funding. That’s over now and what you’re seeing here is a harder, tougher group. Katie Boulter, Liam Broady, Dan Evans are all legitimate pros and they are all nudging each other on to the next level. And when you start doing that it becomes very healthy.

I don’t think we’re going to have a Wimbledon champion next year but we’re going to have more players getting into the draw without needing a wildcard and that’s the sign of a good tennis system.

You’ve got to start with a group of players in the top 100. The ones who win Slams. To an extent they’re born with it and they would have been champions no matter what country they were born in. We’ve had Murray and now we have Emma Raducanu so we shouldn’t complain but you know things are going well when you have a group of good players.

I think the upward trend will continue and we’re in for a healthy period for British tennis.


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