Sport Tennis The decision that could make Nick Kyrgios’s tennis career

The decision that could make Nick Kyrgios’s tennis career

Kyrgios won three ATP titles in 2016. Photo: Getty
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He has been without a coach for nearly two years but for Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios, that appears set to change.

Kyrgios will reportedly link up with former professional Sebastien Grosjean on a part-time basis, beginning at this week’s Italian Open.

The Frenchman reached a career-high ranking of fourth in the world in 2002, won four ATP Tour titles and made it to the semi-finals of three grand slams.

French paper L’Equipe reported the news and Grosjean appeared to confirm it, re-tweeting a post on Twitter that said the pair had been working together since February.

The post also said Grosjean would work with Kyrgios on “important appointments”, likely to be major ATP tournaments and grand slams.

Grosjean, who retired in 2010, has previous coaching experience, having worked with countryman Richard Gasquet from 2014 to 2016.

The news is a major development for Kyrgios, who has been coach-less since splitting from Aussie Todd Larkham before Wimbledon in 2015.

For a young man travelling the world, playing an individual sport and battling a famous temper, the fact Kyrgios has gone on without a coach has staggered many figures within tennis.

Sebastien Grosjean will take on Kyrgios’s famous temper. Photo: Getty

After his 2016 Wimbledon exit he said he lacked motivation to train regularly, and that any coach would struggle to work with him because of that.

But after this year’s Australian Open – in which Kyrgios was booed off court after losing a second-round encounter against Andreas Seppi in five sets – the Canberran confessed he needed to make an appointment.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in the top 100 without a coach except for me. That needs to change … got to start taking it more seriously,” he said.

Last month, Kyrgios revealed that Australian professional Matt Reid – who he occasionally plays doubles with – was travelling with him as a hitting partner.

Kyrgios is next in action on Tuesday evening (AEST), when he meets Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut in Rome.

‘I have too much self-respect’: Cash

Aussie tennis legend Pat Cash almost coached Kyrgios a few years ago, only for negotiations to stall over money.

In January, Cash famously said he has “too much self-respect” to work with the world number 18.

“Why would I want to get involved in a job like that?” Cash told 3AW Radio.

“I wouldn’t last one minute. Same thing with Lleyton Hewitt, Bernie Tomic or Andy Murray.

“If they started screaming at me and abusing me up in the box, I’d pack it up and walk out.”

Cash also queried whether Kyrgios was committed enough to make his tennis career work.

“I’ve seen players go before with loads and loads of talent and just didn’t have the mental application. It’s what makes tennis so tough,” he said.

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