Sport

Kyrgios 'hates' his behaviour, says Woodbridge

Australia's Nick Kyrgios has been banned from the ATP Tour for eight weeks.
Australia's Nick Kyrgios has been banned from the ATP Tour for eight weeks. WILL OLIVER

TENNIS: Australian tennis great and former Tennis Australia talent development chief Todd Woodbridge has claimed Nick Kyrgios hates it when he loses control of his emotions as he did at the Shanghai Masters.

Kyrgios was on Monday whacked with an eight-week suspension that can be reduced down to three if he meets 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.

It was the tour's first suspension for behavioural issues since American John McEnroe was ousted 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 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, said he was adamant the ATP should have acted sooner when punishing the 21-year-old, who has had a string of controversial on-court incidents.

Writing in a column for Fox Sports, Cash said the suspension and additional $32,900 fine wasn't "particularly harsh” and was "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.

"Ultimately, one may wonder if the ATP has done him a disservice by not acting sooner.

"He probably isn't all that disappointed, either. It would be a relief in a way and a good time for him to rest and reflect.”

ATP president Chris Kermode defended the length of the ban, declaring the sport wants to see Kyrgios return stronger than before.

"Nick's conduct in Shanghai was unacceptable, disrespectful to the sport and its fans,” he said.

"We take these matters very seriously and he has since apologised for his actions.

"Nick is a phenomenal talent and our hope is that he uses his time away from the tour constructively and - with some support - is able to return to competition with an improved mindset and stronger than ever before.”

While he won't play again in 2016, Tennis Australia declared Kyrgios had agreed to consult with a sports psychologist in order to reduce his suspension down to three weeks, and would be available for the summer of tennis at home.

As a non-ranking points tournament, Kyrgios is expected to make his return to tennis at the Hopman Cup, beginning January 1.

"Nick's health and well-being is a priority and the ATP has offered a reduced penalty on the provision that he seeks appropriate professional advice, which he has agreed to do,” Tennis Australia said in a statement.

"Nick understands the gravity of his actions, has shown remorse and expressed a willingness to improve.

"We believe it's our responsibility to help Nick, along with all our young athletes, improve both professionally on court as a player, and personally. We have always offered assistance and advice to Nick and his team and will continue to do so.”

Topics:  atp tour chris kermode nick kyrgios pat cash todd woodbridge


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Marine flares responsible for hospital evacuation

Boonah hospital

Bomb squad confirms contents of suspicious package at hospital

Zookeeper who punched kangaroo gets death threats

The man and the kangaroo stood toe-to-toe before he threw a right-hand punch. Image: Steven Stubenrauch/Facebook.

Police called to property after threats made by animal activists

Teachers warned off of wearing pro-refugee t-shirts

Education Minister has stern warning for teachers getting political

Local Partners

Amy Schumer thanks Barbie trolls for hateful comments

Amy Schumer is in the lead role for the new Barbie movie

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing for destroyed sex life

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing her former manager

Azealia Banks' battery case against Russell Crowe dropped

Russell Crowe will not be charged with battery

Mel Gibson named Best Director at AACTA Awards

Mel Gibson poses in the media room after winning the AACTA Award for Best Direction for Hacksaw Ridge.

HIS wartime drama Hacksaw Ridge sweeps 6th annual awards in Sydney.

Mark Hamill unaware his co-stars were romantically involved

Hamill too "self-involved" at the time to notice, he said

ABC's Fresh Blood graduates are a Skit Box full of laughs

Sarah Bishop, Greta Lee Jackson and Adele Vuko in a scene from the TV series Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am.

ALL-female comedy trio hitting the mark with new sketch show.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!