Exclusive – John McEnroe speaks to Tennis365 about what comes next for Nick Kyrgios
Tennis legend John McEnroe urged Nick Kyrgios to seize the moment and confirm he belongs at the top of the game after his run to the Wimbledon final.
In an exclusive interview with Tennis365, McEnroe suggested he has sympathy for the battles Kyrgios has endured over the course of his career after he spoke out about his battles with mental health issues.
Seven-time major singles champion McEnroe has suffered his own troubles that are chronicled in a compelling new movie about his life, that is released in cinemas this weekend and he hopes Kyrgios embraces the possibilities that are in front of him as he looks to build on his first appearances in a singles Grand Slam final.
“We are all assessing the odds of whether he will commit to tennis now and while I have doubts that he will, I’d love to see him do it,” McEnroe told us, as he heaped praise on the Aussie maverick.
“Nick is probably the most talented player the game has seen in the last decade and I like him as a person. I coached him at the Laver Cup four times. He’s a good kid, but he just has to commit to tennis.
“We want to see this guy on a tennis court and would rather not be guessing when he is going to shout at his box. I am probably not one to talk about being angry on court because I had my own problems in that department, but I hope Nick sees what’s possible here.
“Nick moves the needle in tennis and he could be great for the game incredible. You imagine seeing this guy doing what he’s doing on Centre Court at Wimbledon and you want to see more of it.
“Forget the stuff where he’s screaming and yelling because his shot making is incredible. Okay hitting between your legs on pretty important points is not normal, but this guy pulls it off most of the time.
“Hopefully he’ll decide that something is worth making the commitment for a couple of years. I’m not thinking that it’s likely, but hopefully I’m wrong. I want to be wrong because Nick going all-in with tennis would be incredibly positive for our sport.”
McEnroe went on to speak about his own struggles with containing his emotions on and off the court, in a new film that is set to hit UK cinemas this weekend and the honesty of the epic story offers viewers a new glimpse of one of the most iconic figures in tennis.
Speaking about his personal battle with drugs and his divorce from actress Tatum O’Neill, McEnroe opens up like never before and he admits he felt the time was right to tell his story.
“I believe that I try to be honest in life,” he adds. “When I do commentary, it’s obviously a different form of honesty, I mean you talking about … you are being the backseat driver.
“With this, I’m talking about my life. So that makes it trickier at times. It brings a couple of beads of sweat at times because you’re like, oh God, you know, do people even want to hear this?
“I also asked myself; why do people even want to watch a documentary about me at this point in my life? So you have to give something and open up about what your life has been like.
“I feel like the journey is interesting, hopefully, and that people can relate to some of the things that I went through as a human being. Also at least understand a little bit more of what it was like at the time, way back when and the way I tried to navigate my way through.
“So, if you’re going to do something like this, I feel like it’s important to be honest. If not, I think it would be like a total waste of time. If you’re not going to, you know, say what you believe.”
McEnroe is in UK & Irish cinemas on 15th July
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