Nick Kyrgios lost, again. And he chucked a tantrum, again. And blamed everyone except himself, again.
Kyrgios, the prodigiously talented but temperamental Aussie star, surrendered a two set lead against world number 89, Italian Andreas Seppi, in the Australian Open second round on Wednesday night. Seppi won 1-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 10-8 in an incredibly weird match where Kyrgios seemed to simply mentally clock off in the third set (read our full match report here).
But it was comments from another tennis brat that should give most food for thought.
John McEnroe, the player who lit up tennis through the 1980s with his famous incendiary temper and on-court outbursts, now thinks Kyrgios is too badly behaved.
Let that sink in for a minute.
"It's OK to show your emotions... but when he goes through those periods when he's not competing that it's just a back eye for the sport. And it's a black eye for him," he said during the broadcast of the match.
McEnroe, famous for yelling at umpires, said there was no excuse for giving up like Kyrgios seems to do.
Kyrgios yelled at his team. He threw his racquet at the floor. He swore on the court, and copped a few code violations. He basically ignored the crowd, even as they cheered hard for him as he tried to save the game. He seemed to simply give up at some points, letting easy shots slowly amble past him while he watched. His famous talent shone through in the first two sets, giving fans a glimpse of the skill that has helped to excuse some of his petulant behaviour in the past, but something seemed to click in the third set and it just evaporated.
Kyrgios was booed off the court. He gave a typically nonchalant press conference following the bizarre loss, blaming an injury -- "my body was sore. I was hurting" -- for his performance. Through the match, he yelled "I didn't sign up for this s**t" and, in comments directed at his team, "you did this to me, you said I would be right by Monday."
Nick Kyrgios recibía 5-6 ante Andreas Seppi en el quinto set y el australiano hizo esto.. pic.twitter.com/qvM2fogSTX— Respiro Tenis (@Respiro_Tenis) January 18, 2017
"What I don't understand and don't accept, is when he starts going into the tank and he stops trying and giving 100 percent," McEnroe said.
McEnroe, who swore at officials and often threw his racquet around, said the 21-year-old Aussie had the skill to be a world class player, but was squandering it.
"I would call it overall a damn shame, because I think he's the most talented guy in the world, maybe aged 29 or under. He could be the best player in the world, but mentally he's about 200 in the world," he said.
Fellow former tennis hothead Lleyton Hewitt was more diplomatic in his criticism.
"He kind of let himself down in a lot of ways with that," Hewitt said after the game.
"There's always going to be some blips at times and some challenges, but I think it is a bit of a wake up call for Nick as well, which he probably needed."
Of course, Kyrgios didn't take much notice of it. When told at the press conference about McEnroe's comments, he shrugged it off.
"Well, my body was sore. I was hurting," he said.
"I mean, John McEnroe, was it John McEnroe? Good on him. Great career. Good on him."
But when John McEnroe, who had such a string of bad behaviour that there's entire Youtube compilations of his tantrums, tells you that you need to shape up, maybe it's time to make a change.Suggest a correction