Australian captain Wally Masur has placed Nick Kyrgios in Davis Cup exile until the temperamental youngster sorts himself out.
As Australia battle Great Britain in next week’s semi-final in Glasgow, Masur wants Kyrgios to “regroup” after a turbulent two months.
Kyrgios, who lost in four sets to British spearhead Andy Murray in the first round of the US Open last week, has lurched from one PR disaster to the next since Wimbledon.
After a series of run-ins with officialdom at the All England Club, the 20-year-old’s infamous sledging of French Open champion Stan Wawrinka at the Montreal Masters led to sanctioning from the ATP for aggravated behaviour and widespread condemnation in the locker room.
In between, the two-time grand slam quarter-finalist declared “I don’t want to be here” during his shock first-day Davis Cup singles loss to Kazakhstan’s world No.115 Aleksandr Nedovyesov in Darwin.
Masur believes Kyrgios is already at a career crossroad and, after consulting Tennis Australia’s director of men’s player performance Pat Rafter, the pair decided the volatile youngster should miss next week’s semi-final.
“The tie in Darwin was the first time that I had the opportunity to have Nick in the squad and obviously he had been going through a lot prior to Darwin,” Masur told AAP.
“We went through the Darwin experience, had a good discussion here in New York after he played Andy and it was just a mutual decision.
“Nick’s at a pretty important point in his career in terms of his professional and personal development.
“He’s got so much potential. We all know that. We just saw this is an opportunity for him to spend a bit of time to regroup.
“It’s important that he starts to focus on what his team looks like going forward because he’s obviously been without a coach since Todd Larkham and he split (before Wimbledon).
“He’s got Lleyton in his corner so obviously he’s established a good relationship there with Lleyton, but he really does need to get that guy that’s with him on the road day in, day out.”
Masur has recalled Bernard Tomic after the Australian No.1’s suspension from the quarter-final win over Kazakhstan and retained Lleyton Hewitt, Sam Groth and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
With Masur confirming Hewitt and Groth were almost certain to play doubles, Tomic and Kokkinakis are favoured to feature in next Friday’s opening singles rubber in Glasgow.
Masur said Kyrgios still had time to push for a recall should Australia make the final.
“Nick has been in the Tennis Australia program for years, so the question is how do we help this guy absolutely maximise his potential?” the skipper said.
“There’s no question that Nick just has to get things right, get back on court.
“I thought he played pretty well against Andy Murray here and I said to Nick afterwards: If you knuckle down and you get the right team behind you, and you put in the right yards, then you’re going to beat this guy in one year’s time at the US Open.
“You can beat anyone and that’s the sort of potential he’s got.
“But it’s all very well to talk about it. He’s got to make sure that he now puts the steps in place to make sure it happens.
“Obviously Tennis Australia will always be supportive of Nick, but he’s got to keep doing the right things, playing hard and keeping his emotions in check.”