TENNIS

John McEnroe’s truth bomb for Nick Kyrgios

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John McEnroe says Nick Kyrgios “needs Sigmund Freud” to find a way to conquer his mental demons on the tennis court. Photos: Getty Images

Nick Kyrgios’ forensic analysis continued in the days following his loss to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, with John McEnroe suggesting he “needs Sigmund Freud” to maximize its potential.

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In comments that will no doubt bear a tinge of irony among tennis fans, McEnroe said pivotal moments from the final against Djokovic showed where Kyrgios was lacking.

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The 27-year-old Australian had a controversial but convincing run to the Wimbledon final, helped by the withdrawal of semi-final opponent Rafael Nadal due to injury.

Kyrgios fell to Djokovic 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6(3), a display that showcased the best and worst aspects of his game.

His run through the earlier rounds was littered with controversy, including spitting towards the crowd during his first-round match against qualifier Paul Jubb, who it took him five sets to defeat.

In round three, Kyrgios was branded a ‘bully’ by Stefanos Tsitsipas after winning a malicious contest between the pair, while he was also faced with questions after it was revealed he had been summoned to court in Canberra following an incident at the end of last year.

McEnroe, himself a poster child for on-court explosions in his playing days, said Kyrgios, the tennis player, was a “genius” but had to put his head in the right space to consistently compete at the level he had at Wimbledon.

“The guy is a genius there, the way he plays,” McEnroe told the BBC.

“He needs Sigmund Freud to rise from the grave and somehow find a way to keep this guy alive for a few years because we could use him.

“It’s amazing, he moves the needle for us in tennis. We need that big time but we don’t need him to try half the time.”

McEnroe added that he believes fear of failure is holding Kyrgios back from playing his best tennis.

“He’s a good boy, the players like him, he’s very popular in the dressing room, he does a lot of charity work,” he said.

“But he has demons, you know, in a way – we all have this fear of failure and it’s a matter of how best you do at it.”

Nick Kyrgios’ mental ‘demons’ unleashed after Wimbledon loss

The mental side of Kyrgios’ game has largely overshadowed his talent for much of his career.

McEnroe said the current world number 45 is capable of much greater feats but needs to harness that mental energy in a positive way.

However, Kyrgios realizes it would be best to leave that to him, McEnroe said, but he added that, as the American champion does now, Kyrgios might regret some of his outbursts and how they might ultimately affect his career.

“I would say I’m proud of most of what I’ve done, but there are definitely times when I’m like, ‘I didn’t have to do that,'” McEnroe said.

“It only exacerbated the situation and made more people mad at me or started booing me, so it wasn’t like it helped me.

“Maybe it’s sometimes that you let off steam. Obviously you see Kyrgios doing that all the time.”

Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios shake hands at the net after the 2022 Wimbledon final.

Novak Djokovic defeated Nick Kyrgios in a thrilling Wimbledon final to claim his 21st Grand Slam triumph. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The Australian was handed a code breach in Sunday’s final in which he also volublely demanded the removal of a spectator who he believed was drunk and launched a rude tirade in his own dressing room .

“How do you think his box feels when he yells at them? People love him the most, right?” McEnroe said.

“Unfortunately, the people you love the most, you pick on them, because you feel closest to them. I think we can all relate to that. But if it wasn’t so sad, this would be funny in a way.

“So that part, I hope he would look and say, ‘I don’t need to do this to my dad or my girlfriend.’

“You know he’s sitting there and he’s obviously being tortured in some way. (He’s) incredibly talented, very smart…a hell of a player when he wants to be.”

With AFP

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