Nick Kyrgios has tennis to become a champion, and it is not right to reprimand him. But what was shown at Wimbledon and after the defeat against Rafael Nadal (the Iberian was named Ralf both by Nick during the match and by Kyrgios's brother in an Instagram story, after the challenge), casts other shadows on the professional future of the twenty-four years-old.
Today, after what was shown first at the Queen's then at the All England Club, we cannot define Kyrgios as a champion. The time has come for him to understand that he has reached the extreme limit, where there is that subtle borderline between fun for the crowd and circus attitudes.
Kyrgios must remember to be a professional tennis player and not a clown. And just a little professionalism shown maybe in matches that he considered useless or boring make all the difference between a tennis player like him and all the others.
Now at his age, certain attitudes MUST NOT be tolerated anymore. Let me be clear, the pepper that he puts in some tournaments is good for tennis. What I would like to emphasize is the difference between moderation and elimination.
Kyrgios must not permanently lose the character traits that often make him fall. He should only learn to moderate them and channel them into pressure management and regularity in performances. He must not emulate the career of his countryman Bernard Tomic, now almost more accustomed to being in the spotlight for the rubbish he says, rather than for the (disappointing) results.
At the Washington Open, he showed what he can be when he is focused, winning the title by beating Tsitsipas and Medvedev. "Nick Kyrgios? Which tournament director wouldn't want him? He has become a real attraction; whatever he says is original.
He is a character, beyond the fact that he likes you or not. He is a clown, a player who offers real opportunities to the director of a tournament in terms of communication and who makes your event popular", said Julien Boutter, former French tennis player and current director of the Moselle Open.
And these words contain a part of the essence and importance of Kyrgios in the Tour. But a tennis player of his talent should not be limited to just being a character, but he MUST aspire to become a top player. Kyrgios has everything to become a champion, and yes, even its explosive and sometimes intolerant character is an integral part of his world.
He just needs to learn to moderate all the excesses, and then he can do something good in his career. For now, the answer is no, but already by the summer, he should start asking himself a few questions and see what he can do to help evolve his career.