Sydney, Sep 17 (GCSports) Former Aussie tennis legend Pat Rafter has told reporters in Sydney that he “doesn’t understand” why world number 27 Nick Kyrgios hasn’t been suspended by the ATP governing body following his bad behaviour at the Cincinnati Masters in the U.S. last month.
With an investigation still underway after bowing out of the tournament to Karen Khachanov, the 24-year-old Aussie hitter is accused of spitting in the direction of the chair umpire as well swearing at him.
Wondering why the process has taken so much time, Rafter said on Monday evening at the inaugural ATP Cup draw that “on paper it looks like he should be suspended.”
“It’s an interesting one, I don’t understand why it hasn’t happened. There’s obviously something more going on behind the scenes, I don’t know.”
“That’s another thing to look at isn’t it? he draws a crowd. At what point do you say a crowd’s more important – or do you try to uphold a certain protocol and a standard for the players to adhere to,” he said,
Previously involved Australia’s Davis Cup campaign, the 46 year-old former world number one stood down from the role in 2015, with local media reports citing Rafter’s frustration with Kyrgios’s unwillingness to listen as one of the major reasons for departing.
Although Kyrgios is regarded as one of the most talented and naturally gifted Australian tennis players in decades, Rafter suspects his fiery attitude may stop him from winning a maiden Grand Slam Title.
“Who’ll win the next grand slam? Obviously we always think Nick has the talent to do it, [but] I don’t know if he will,” the two-time U.S. Open Champion said.
Setting his sights on Aussie young guns Alex de Minaur or Alexei Popyrin, Rafter feels the pair of up-and-comers are more likely to take home Australia’s next major tennis championship.
“De Minaur and Popyrin are really exciting talents and seem to have their heads screwed on really well,” he said.