Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Wayward Star 'Hates' His Own Behaviour; Woodbridge Says Kyrgios Can Still Turn Image Around

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Wayward Star 'Hates' His Own Behaviour; Woodbridge Says Kyrgios Can Still Turn Image Around

Article excerpt

TENNIS: Australian tennis great and former Tennis Australia talent development chief Todd Woodbridge says Nick Kyrgios hates it when he loses control of his emotions, following the world No.14's debacle at the Shanghai Masters.

On Monday, Kyrgios was whacked with an eight-week suspension, which could be reduced to three if he met 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 in Shanghai.

It is the tour's first suspension for behavioural issues since American John McEnroe's ousting 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 US star 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, was adamant the ATP should have acted sooner in punishing the 21-year-old after a string of controversial on-court incidents.

In a column for Fox Sports, Cash said the suspension and additional $32,900 fine were not "particularly harsh" and were "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. …

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