John McEnroe on Nick Kyrgios: ‘He’s a good kid, but he’s got demons. He needs Sigmund Freud…’

Nick Kyrgios with a towel

John McEnroe insists he is a big fan of Nick Kyrgios’ tennis, saying the “guy is a genius” on the court, but he does feel the Australian needs some help to deal with his demons.

Not too many people would have predicted that the 27-year-old would play in the Wimbledon final with Kyrgios himself admitting that he thought “that ship had sailed”.

Yet he enjoyed a glorious fortnight at Wimbledon as he reached his maiden Grand Slam final, losing in four sets against Novak Djokovic on Sunday.

But while he certainly did his talking with his tennis, there were outbursts, shouting at swearing at spectators, himself and his player box, a spitting incident with a fan and arguments with officials.

Exclusive – John McEnroe speaks to Tennis365 about what comes next for Nick Kyrgios

Kyrgios had in the past opened up about his struggle with depression and McEnroe had his say on the Australian.

“I get a lot of what’s going on here more than most people,” he said BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast. “He’s a good kid, the players like him, he’s well liked in the locker room, he does a lot of charity work.

“But he’s got demons you know, in a way – we all have this fear of failure and it’s a question of how you best deal with it.”

Kyrgios has been without a full time coach for several years yet he still manages to produce the goods with McEnroe impressed with his style, but the seven-time Grand Slam winner says he needs help on the mental side of things.

“It’s unbelievable so he moves the needle for us in tennis. We need this big time, but we don’t need him to try half the time. Who should coach Nick Kyrgios? John McEnroe of course but he’s untouchable,” he said.

“Anyway the guy doesn’t need the coach, the guy is a genius out there the way he plays. He needs Sigmund Freud to come out of the grave and somehow figure out a way to keep this guy going for a couple of years because we could use him.”

McEnroe added: “You know he’s sitting there and he’s obviously tortured in certain ways. [He’s] unbelievably talented, very smart. [He’s] a hell of a player when he wants to be and so you want to nurture that in a way as an ex-player, as a father, as a fan, as a commentator, so I can relate a lot.”