Kyrgios commits sport's ‘biggest crime’
THERE'S no shame in a third-round exit when you take a set off the World No.3 - but somewhere in his Cincinnati Masters campaign Nick Kyrgios crossed over into Gael Monfils territory.
The 23-year-old still has time to turn his career around and become a multiple Grand Slam champion - but he won't, according to Aussie tennis expert Brett Phillips.
The veteran tennis commentator said Kyrgios is crossing over into the territory of being the unfulfilled talent that never actually gets his act together.
Having slumped to a ranking of No.30 for the first time since February, 2016, popular sports commentator Andy Maher says Kyrgios is guilty of "the greatest crime that you can commit" in sport - wasting his talent.
It comes just one day after Aussie wheelchair tennis champion Dylan Alcott declared Kyrgios is the most talented tennis player on the planet.
Maher said Kyrgios' refusal to get his act together makes him impossible for Aussie fans to warm to.
"You just feel like he's wasting the talent, which is really the greatest crime that you can commit," Maher said.
"If you choose to be a professional sportsman and you just waste the talent. If you just blindly wast it, that's about as big a crime you can commit.
"I've now got a theory about this bloke that this is what he wants. He needs to surround himself like this, it's kind of his way of being relevant."
Phillips said it is "mind-boggling" that Kyrgios remains an unfulfilled talent.
"He just can't play a normal, conventional tennis match," Phillips said after Kyrgios' one-set tank against Borna Coric and his tantrum at the umpire of his loss to Jaun Martin del Potro at the Cincinnati Masters.
"Who knows what's in store for the US Open, but I don't know how he's going to change out of that mindset.
"He's just going to continue to be an unfulfilled talent. We just have to speak honestly. We're not just sitting here wanting to pot Nick Kyrgios on a week-to-week basis but he is being very hard to warm to.
"He's only going at 40 to 50 per cent. That's the hard bit to swallow, I reckon. He can't put it all together because if he could put it all together we would be celebrating a great player."
In his last tournament before the US Open, Kyrgios pushed world No.3 del Potro to two tiebreaks before succumbing to him in the third set.The Argentine had to fend off a barrage of 29 aces in his 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (8-6) 6-2 win over the 15-seed on Friday.
Del Potro, who moved up Monday one notch in the world ranking to third, fired 19 aces of his own against the Australian No.1 in the last-16 match. The game took two hours and 15 minutes over two days after it was suspended due to rain.