Former seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander revealed in an interview with Eurosport that Lleyton Hewitt told him "every kid in Australia is basically doing what Nick Kyrgios does." Kyrgios, a six-time ATP champion, has proved capable of competing well against the top players and beating them but it is no secret that sometimes he has a hard time controlling himself on the court.
Wilander, who works as a tennis expert and analyst for Eurosport, thinks it's "atrocious" that kids in Australia are copying Kyrgios' style and his technique. Wilander made comments while discussing the recent player outbursts and meltdowns on the ATP Tour.
Wilander wasn't a fan of the "light punishment" Alexander Zverev was handed, stating the German deserved a suspension for his Acapulco meltdown. “In tennis you learn how to behave properly, you learn how to call things out that are close and call them in, you make your own calls, you call the score out,” Wilander told Eurosport.
“It’s just a game where you learn a lot about life and educate and rules and these guys are taking it to a complete different level."
Wilander: Kids in Australia are copying Kyrgios and it's horrible
“And I do know from Lleyton Hewitt telling me that every kid in Australia basically, is doing what Nick Kyrgios does.
I’m not saying they’re throwing rackets and whatever, but they hit the ball like Nick Kyrgios and that’s kind of bad enough in a way because Nick is so talented, but he doesn’t use his feet at all in any of his shots.
He just slaps it with his arm. And they look up to these guys. So I think it’s atrocious," Wilander added. “I actually think it’s horrible. I think breaking a racket on a tennis court is the lowest for me because most kids, they cannot afford to buy tennis rackets.
“I think it’s wrong. I think it’s completely wrong. That’s why I asked: I think Zverev needs to be not on probation, he needs to be taken off the Tour for a month, two months, maybe it’s the first Grand Slam, maybe it’s the first ATP Masters 1000 but something that hurts him rather than just be able to not do the same thing again and then I’m fine. It doesn’t make sense. Life doesn’t work like that”.