Cape Town – John McEnroe says that while he’s a big fan of Nick Kyrgios, he fears the fiery Australian is in danger of bringing his career to a premature end.
Tennis legend McEnroe believes that too often Kyrgios is his own worst enemy, and that it could come back to bite him.
“He’s going to run himself out of the game at this point, which I don’t want to see. But that’s what’s going to happen. It’s as clear as day,” McEnroe told Australia’s 60 Minutes programme.
McEnroe’s claim comes just a few weeks after Kyrgios publicly announced he was seeking professional help to overcome his mental demons.
As a player who had a similar reputation and could be every bit as hot-headed, McEnroe once offered to help mentor Kyrgios, a proposal that was swiftly shot down by the Australian.
The pair have since gotten to know each other better at the Laver Cup, where McEnroe is captain of Team World and Kyrgios is one of their most important players.
“I like him a lot. I think he’s a great kid and actually I think he’s the most talented tennis player that I’ve seen in 10 years,” McEnroe said.
“The difference between Nick and I at the moment is I tried all the time. He doesn’t, for whatever reason. I’m not Sigmund Freud.
“I wish I was ‘cos I like Nick and he’d be good for the sport (if he fully committed).
“Obviously it would be good for him. That it goes without saying.
“I think Nick’s a really nice kid.”
McEnroe was also asked about a controversial incident earlier this year when Swedish umpire Mohamed Lahyani gave Kyrgios a courtside pep talk during a match.
McEnroe said that Lahyani should have been promoted – not suspended – following the incident.
“I think the guy who should be promoted and encouraged would be the guy who got off the chair and tried to help Kyrgios,” he said.
“That guy should be applauded.”