Tim Henman says Nick Kyrgios is "great for tennis" but wishes the mercurial Australian would learn when to draw the line in his conflicts away from the court.
Kyrgios reignited his feud with Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open when he imitated the Serb’s celebration with extravagant gestures to all four corners of an empty stadium before a doubles match on Sunday.
When asked about the celebration after the match, Kyrgios said sarcastically: "Just feeling the love. Just trying to spread the good word of the celebration. Everyone loves that celebration. It’s well liked.
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"We’re just having some fun. Novak, I’m sure, doesn’t like me and we both have respect for each other, but I don’t like him at all, so it’s fun."
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Kyrgios mocks Djokovic with celebration before doubles match
It comes after Kyrgios branded Djokovic a “tool” for his proposals to change conditions for players in quarantine ahead of the tournament, while the world number one responded by saying he does not respect him off the court.
And now Henman is urging Kyrgios to focus on fulfilling his undoubted potential, rather than extending his war of words.
"With Kyrgios, it’s a fine line. Obviously he’s a character on and off the court,” he told Eurosport, when asked whether Kyrgios had gone too far in his row with Djokovic.
"But it’s very important that he can still concentrate so that these antics don’t become a distraction, they don’t affect his performance.
"Sometimes I think he’s got to learn where to draw the line and get back to the basics of implementing the enormous talent that he has on the court."
'He’s got to learn where to draw the line' - Henman on Kyrgios
Henman added that Kyrgios has a “very good heart” and backed him to build on his impressive showing in Melbourne, where he pushed US Open champion Dominic Thiem to five sets.
"For me, Nick Kyrgios is great for tennis. He’s a volatile character, you never quite know what to expect. He’s a huge talent, one of the best serves in the game," said Henman.
"And he’s got a very good heart. He’s supported me and my charity foundation, he does a lot of good stuff off the court.
"If he could maintain that concentration and focus, both on the practice court and match court, I really think he can go on and produce bigger and better results.
"I’m a fan. I hope he can channel that talent to go on and win some big titles in the future."
Kyrgios has a 'very good heart', says Henman
Kyrgios, 25, has not reached the quarter-final of a Grand Slam since 2015.
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