Roger Federer believes that if Nick Kyrgios does not start sorting his act out, the talented Australian will not live up to his considerable potential.
Anyone, tennis follower or not, who watches Kyrgios will be impressed by his athleticism, ball striking and creativity on the court. His talent is extremely obvious and he has enough to suggest he can scale lofty heights in the men’s game.
However, the 23-year-old Australian continues to involve himself in controversy after controversy.
At the start of his career, his courting of drama was considered something he would most likely grow out of. The opposite has happened. Today it seems Kyrgios is involved in some incident or another at every tournament he competes in.
His latest offence was on Tuesday at the Shanghai Masters.
The fiery 23-year-old was upset with umpire Damien Dumusois, who deemed his effort “borderline” after it appeared Kyrgios tanked on a return of serve in the second set.
From then on, Kyrgios made a point of turning to Dumusois and saying “borderline” every time he hit an unreturnable serve past opponent Bradley Klahn.
Federer has always believed in Kyrgios’ ability but remains sceptical of his temperament and is of the opinion that if he does not make changes to his attitude, he will continue to under-perform.
“I think it’s really up to him where he wants to go and what his potential really holds,” said Federer.
“We don’t really know and I don’t think he really knows exactly what his potential is.
“And only through understanding work ethic and scheduling and whatever it might be, creating the right team around himself, only then can you unlock the potential really.
“There is still a process in place that he needs to do like any other player needs to go through in order to be successful.”
Federer is the defending champion in Shanghai this week and faces Daniil Medvedev in his opening match on Wednesday.