Amidst the slinging match going on between some of the world’s top tennis players, which all started with Australian Nick Kyrgios’ controversial on-court outburst, the usually reserved Roger Federer has finally chimed in with his opinion – not in our sport.
The strong comments come after the Australian player lost a point and sledged Swiss player Stan Wawrinka, claiming that fellow Aussie player Thanasi Kokkinakis had “banged” his girlfriend.
In the lead up to the Cincinnati Masters tournament in the U.S, Federer has expressed his distaste of such behaviour and added that the ATP needs to “come down hard” on the 20-year old.
“We all agree that he definitely crossed the line by a long shot,” Federer told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“We’re not used to that kind of talk in tennis. I know in other sports it’s quite common, maybe normal. Not in our sport, really.”
This is by far the biggest indicator that Kyrgios’ ongoing court conduct has ruffled a few more feathers than just the tournament officials’. Federer went on to explain that “it’s normal that the tour comes down hard on him and explains to him that it’s not the way forward.”
“[It’s] not great for the sport, one that I think many players have tried to build up and make it a good image, build up a good image,”
“We want kids to be wanting to get into this sport because it’s a nice sport.”
Fellow Australian teammate Thanasi Kokkinakis who was inadvertently dragged into the strife, has also revealed to Fox Sports that he has spoken to Kyrgios on the matter, saying that he was out of line for implicating him in the conflict.
Kokkinakis said that “I let him know. I made it pretty clear that he can’t be doing that. If he’s got a problem, he’s got to say it in private.”
Given that Kyrgios is still only just twenty years of age and progressing through a high-pressure sport alongside many peers his age, a lot of Australians still hope the fiery player will channel his energy into the game. Only time will tell whether he lasts the distance and rulebook.