Sport Tennis Nick Kyrgios now in Olympic boss’s sights

Nick Kyrgios now in Olympic boss’s sights

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Tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios is now in Australian Olympic team boss Kitty Chiller’s sights after Bernard Tomic’s Rio withdrawal.

Chiller refused to speculate on whether Tomic had beaten selectors to the punch by ruling himself out of the Rio Games.

But she made her views on Kyrgios clear, saying his “ill-advised” response to being put on notice by the AOC showed he did not know what it meant to be an Australian Olympian.

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Tomic and Kyrgios were both warned by Chiller last week after a raft of behavioural issues on and off the court.

Kyrgios made light of it via social media, referring to the chef de mission as “that Kitty Chiller”, and all but dared selectors to overlook him for Rio at a recent post-match press conference.

Chiller said she had not had any official correspondence from Kyrgios.

“We have had nothing official except for some ill-advised, shall I say, comments about me and what it means to be an Olympian,” she said.

“I think some of Nick’s comments in social media have shown that maybe he doesn’t understand what it means to be an Australian Olympian.

“It is not just about winning on the court, it’s about how you go about it.”

Asked if there were no Rio guarantees for Kyrgios, Chiller said: “My stance hasn’t changed.

“Nick has just come off a suspended sentence from the International Tennis Federation.

“Any athlete that has just had disciplinary action by an international federation clearly is on watch.”

Tomic’s selection was under a cloud after he deliberately gave up a match point at a tournament in Madrid, saying he didn’t care because he is 23 and worth $10 million.

Chiller described his behaviour as “appalling”.

Tomic said he based his decision to withdraw on what was best for his career.

“It’s his choice. We only want people in our team who want to be there and prepared to abide by what that team means,” Chiller said.

Asked if Tomic had saved selectors the trouble of overlooking him, Chiller said: “That’s irrelevant now.

“Thousands of Australians would give anything, devote their whole lives to be an Olympics and adhere to what that means.

“If someone doesn’t see the value in that then that’s their loss.”

But in a statement, Tennis Australia President Steve Healy said the young player’s behaviour had actually improved in recent times.

“He’s made a concerted effort to improve his performance and behaviour, and full credit to him,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate that he’s been included unfairly in recent discussions on player behaviour that have not involved him.

“Nick deserves the opportunity to concentrate on his tennis without any additional distractions.”

Tomic confirmed he would instead play at an ATP World Tour tournament in Mexico during the Olympics.

“With a heavy sense of regret, I have made the difficult decision to not play with the Australian tennis team as they pursue an Olympic medal in Rio,” Tomic said in a statement.

“I have always proudly represented my country in Davis Cup and given my all when wearing the green and gold.

“But on the basis of my extremely busy playing schedule and my own personal circumstances, I am regrettably unable to commit to this year’s tournament.”


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