Herald Sun: Kyrgios Lands BNP Paribas Showdown Spot

From the Melbourne Herald Sun

By Luke Dennehy


Controversial tennis player Nick Kyrgios has landed a spot in a prestigious exhibition tournament at Madison Square Gardens in March because he is considered box-office gold.

Kyrgios will play rising US star Jack Sock in the annual BNP Paribas Showdown on March 6.

In the past, superstars such as Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Serena and Venus Williams have played at the event.

Despite his suspension from the ATP Tour and his up-and-down year, Kyrgios (pictured) sells tickets. The 21-year-old was a no-show at Monday night’s Newcombe Medal, after not being nominated in a year where he won three events.

Tennis legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley said Kyrgios had incredible talent, but he needed to learn to respect the game.

“I think he is wonderful,” she said. “He is a great player, he has great hands, great height and power. He has got everything on the court, but I think he needs to learn to sit down and talk to some of the elders of tennis, and get that respect back for the game.”

John Newcombe backed up Goolagong Cawley’s comments, and said Kyrgios has to show 100 per cent commitment to the sport.

“The raw talent is there, the explosive power, the imagination,” he said.

“Then you have got to put other things in there: Are you 100 per cent fit, can you last five-set matches?

“You look at (Andy) Murray and (Novak) Djokovic, how fit they are. You have to be able to stay the course with players like that.”