In an interview to Reuters, the seven-time Grand Slam winner Mats Wilander commented on the Nick Kyrgios's controversial on court behaviour. The Australian threw a chair during his second round match in Rome. Wilander believes that Kyrgios caring about the game is crucial to keep seeing the Canberra native on court.
“Listen, as long as he is throwing chairs and breaks rackets because he has lost the first set 7-6 and dropped serve to go down in second, as long as he’s pissed that he’s losing then he’s great for the game.
It’s like John McEnroe. At the time we didn’t know if it was good or bad, but obviously, he was one of the most important players that ever played the game. I just can’t handle it when it looks like he’s not trying or wants to be somewhere else", said the Swede.
About what players' thoughts are on Kyrgios, Wilander added: “The locker room loves him but they hate losing to him. The problem is that the more antics he does, the more trick shots, the more he irritates his opponent and he is going to have to fight through so many players because they will refuse to lose to someone doing that.
When he gets angry with himself players then realise ‘hey this guy does care’. Okay, Nadal said a few things in Acapulco about him not respecting the game. But the handshake with Nick is generally pretty like ‘I know what you’re going through but you are a good guy.’ I think he’s a good guy deep down”.