Sport

Kyrgios 'hates' his behaviour, says Woodbridge

Australia's Nick Kyrgios has been banned from the ATP Tour for eight weeks.
Australia's Nick Kyrgios has been banned from the ATP Tour for eight weeks. WILL OLIVER

TENNIS: Australian tennis great and former Tennis Australia talent development chief Todd Woodbridge has claimed Nick Kyrgios hates it when he loses control of his emotions as he did at the Shanghai Masters.

Kyrgios was on Monday whacked with an eight-week suspension that can be reduced down to three if he meets strict conditions after an ATP Tour investigation found him guilty of conduct contrary to the integrity of the game for failing to provide his best effort in his loss to German Mischa Zverev.

It was the tour's first suspension for behavioural issues since American John McEnroe was ousted in 1987.

Woodbridge said he believed Kyrgios still had the ability to turn his career around and become a popular player in the same way Andre Agassi did.

The 16-time doubles grand slam champion defended his role in the development of Kyrgios, saying Tennis Australia provided support with coaching and access to sports psychology.

"Right now I can promise you, he does not like behaving the way he does,” Woodbridge told SEN radio.

"He actually hates it. Part of his behaviour is because of that. He doesn't at this point control that well enough.

"I think that's where seeking this help properly - and I think that he has to buy into it properly - it will improve him both on and off the court so that he'll enjoy his opportunities better and he'll understand why he's feeling that way.”

One-time Wimbledon champion Pat Cash, however, said he was adamant the ATP should have acted sooner when punishing the 21-year-old, who has had a string of controversial on-court incidents.

Writing in a column for Fox Sports, Cash said the suspension and additional $32,900 fine wasn't "particularly harsh” and was "overdue”.

"Nick has been putting the ATP in an awkward position for years by generating at least as many headlines for his on-court meltdowns as his incredible tennis,” Cash wrote.

"Ultimately, one may wonder if the ATP has done him a disservice by not acting sooner.

"He probably isn't all that disappointed, either. It would be a relief in a way and a good time for him to rest and reflect.”

ATP president Chris Kermode defended the length of the ban, declaring the sport wants to see Kyrgios return stronger than before.

"Nick's conduct in Shanghai was unacceptable, disrespectful to the sport and its fans,” he said.

"We take these matters very seriously and he has since apologised for his actions.

"Nick is a phenomenal talent and our hope is that he uses his time away from the tour constructively and - with some support - is able to return to competition with an improved mindset and stronger than ever before.”

While he won't play again in 2016, Tennis Australia declared Kyrgios had agreed to consult with a sports psychologist in order to reduce his suspension down to three weeks, and would be available for the summer of tennis at home.

As a non-ranking points tournament, Kyrgios is expected to make his return to tennis at the Hopman Cup, beginning January 1.

"Nick's health and well-being is a priority and the ATP has offered a reduced penalty on the provision that he seeks appropriate professional advice, which he has agreed to do,” Tennis Australia said in a statement.

"Nick understands the gravity of his actions, has shown remorse and expressed a willingness to improve.

"We believe it's our responsibility to help Nick, along with all our young athletes, improve both professionally on court as a player, and personally. We have always offered assistance and advice to Nick and his team and will continue to do so.”

Topics:  atp tour chris kermode nick kyrgios pat cash todd woodbridge


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Hemp industry set to explode

GROWTH INDUSTRY: Paul Benhaim believes 2017 will be a watershed year for the hemp industry.

Bangalow producer has many reasons to be cheerful

Byron Labor opposes 60% rate rise proposal

Byron Shire Council headquarters at Mullumbimby

"This massive rate rise is a lazy and unimaginative response"

SOAP BOX: Was it greyhounds or party games that bit Baird?

GONE: NSW Premier Mike Baird announced on Thursday that it was time to hand over the reins to a new premier for the state.

Now that he's gone, restore Sydney to what it was

Local Partners

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

INTERACTIVE MAP: Which Northern Rivers towns boomed in 2016?

BOOM TOWNS: While Ballina properties continued to attract top dollar in 2016, it was areas to the south that experienced price hikes, including Wardell, Evans Head and Woodburn.

Click on our map to find the median sale price in your town

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!