Tennis legends Pat Rafter, John Newcombe and Ken Rosewall speak to the media.
Tennis legends Pat Rafter, John Newcombe and Ken Rosewall speak to the media.

Legends divided over Kyrgios suspension

AUSSIE tennis greats are in disagreement over Nick Kyrgios potential ban from the sport as the hot-headed star continues to wait for news of the investigations into his actions.

Speaking at the launch of the ATP Cup coming to Australia early next year, Pat Rafter and Ken Rosewall clipped the 24-year-old and his antics but fellow legend Rod Laver clarified his US Open comments, saying Kyrgios shouldn't be banned.

Kyrgios has had a wild season, winning two titles at Acapulco and Washington but had some explosive outbursts.

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It culminated at the Cincinnati Masters, Kyrgios lost during the second round against Russian Karen Khachanov but exploded, calling Irish umpire Fergus Murphy "a f***ing tool" and a "potato" among a volley of abuse throughout the game as well as appearing to spit in his direction at the end of the match.

Kyrgios then accused the governing body for men's tennis, the ATP, of being "pretty corrupt" after his first-round win at the US Open when asked about his record $167,000 fine in Cincinnati earlier in the month.

Kyrgios later said it was "not the correct choice of words" before highlighting what he felt were double standards in the game.

Laver said Kyrgios arguably has the best serve in the world.
Laver said Kyrgios arguably has the best serve in the world.

Asked at the US Open what he thought of the comments, Laver seemed to tell the Sydney Morning Herald he felt Kyrgios should be suspended.

"Whatever they have done hasn't worked so far, so maybe a suspension is the only answer," Laver said. "I'm not sure he's learned anything from any of the things that have gone on."

But the 11-time Grand Slam winner clarified his comments ahead of the Laver Cup.

"I have not said it, I was misunderstood by the Sydney Morning Herald," Laver said. "It was misunderstood by others too and it turned viral without confirming that quote. It's true what I told Fox Sports, I said that Nick should not be banned. Nick was amazing in both Laver Cups, both as a player and teammate."

But speaking at the ATP Cup launch, Rafter said he was unsure why Kyrgios hadn't already been suspended for his outbursts.

"It's an interesting one. I don't understand why it hasn't happened," Rafter said after being asked whether Kyrgios should be suspended. "But there's obviously something else going on behind the scenes (that) I don't know.

Kyrgios unloads ... again.
Kyrgios unloads ... again.

"On paper, it looks like he should be suspended to me."

Rafter, who cited his difficulty in dealing with Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic as one of the chief reasons for quitting as Davis Cup captain after the 2015 Australian Open, said the conundrum was that Kyrgios brought fans to the stands.

"He draws a crowd, but at what stage do you say is the crowd more important or are you trying uphold a certain protocol and a standard for the players to adhere to," he said.

As the world continues to wait for the findings of the two separate investigations - Cincinnati and his corruption allegation - the ATP continues to draw out the issue with no set time frame for a decision to be made.

There have been mutterings in tennis circles that only a ban excluding Kyrgios from the Australian summer - including the Australian Open and the inaugural ATP Cup in January - will have any meaningful effect on the 24-year-old.

Kyrgios is yet to learn his fate.
Kyrgios is yet to learn his fate.

Gayle David Bradshaw, the ATP executive vice president, Rules and Competition, is the man to decide Kyrgios's fate.

The American was in Sydney on Monday for the ATP Cup draw and it's understood he will begin considering the cases when he returns to Florida on Tuesday and weighs up all the evidence - both for and against Kyrgios.

Eight-time grand slam champion Rosewall said he didn't like what Kyrgios delivered.

"The guy has a lot of talent and he can play so well one week, then two days later he blows his top," the 84-year-old said.

"I don't know what's wrong with him. With all due respect, he might have wanted to play basketball, but I think he could make a pretty darn good living being a fairly decent tennis player.

"He's under the spotlight more than other players. But that's not always because of his actions on the court, but some of the other activity off the court or some of his statements. He causes his own problems."

News Corp Australia

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