• Kyrgios wanted to keep playing doubles, his partner said no

    Nick Kyrgios (right) and Matt Reid of Australia play Nicholas Monroe of the United States and John-Patrick Smith of Australia during round one of the men’s doubles on day four of the Australian Open tennis tournament, in Melbourne, January 18, 2018. (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLYNick Kyrgios was set to play doubles ahead of the biggest match of his career, before the only person who could stop him stepped in – his playing partner Matt Reid.

    The fact Kyrgios didn’t want to let his mate down and play their Australian Open second round match is a testament to his selfless attitude, according to Reid.

    Despite cursing himself for his decision to play doubles in near-40-degree heat the day before his third-round win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Kyrgios wanted to play ahead of his showdown with world No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov.

    Kyrgios and Reid were were scheduled to play Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin on Saturday, before the latter put his foot down.

    “He’s always been a team player, that’s the best way to describe him and when we were talking about the doubles he was the one that wanted to play and I was shocked,” Reid said.

    “I assumed we were going to pull out but said ‘let’s get ready for tomorrow’ and I was pumped, but then I got back to the house and started thinking maybe that’s not the best idea for him moving forward.

    “I said ‘mate I don’t want to be the reason that could hold you back from winning a slam, you’ve done so much for me already and I’m sure we’ll get more chances through the year’.

    “Even though he ended up losing it was pretty impressive that he was going to sacrifice his singles performance just to help me out.”

    Reid said the Australian public are only just starting to see the Kyrgios he has known for years and described the 22-year-old as “loved” in the locker room.

    “On the Davis Cup team he’s the first one everyone wants picked and the first and last on court at every training,” Reid said.

    “Half the reason young Alex de Minaur is doing so well is because Nick has taken on a mentoring role with him.

    “The media give him a hard time and it’s tough to see because you know he’s not that person, behind closed doors he’s a real team player and on tour everyone loves him.”

    Kyrgios has described Reid as “part doubles partner, part coach, part training companion” but the man himself says first and foremost – they’re mates.

    “People have thrown out different things but most importantly I’m his mate. Nick is one of those players who at this stage doesn’t really need a coach, so I just try to keep him in a good head space,” Reid said.

    “He believes he can beat anyone and that’s half the battle with players, but Nick really has the talent to beat anyone and can potentially win slams.

    “It’s just about getting him competing and giving his best each week and getting him to enjoy playing because when he’s in that frame of mind he can do some scary things on the court.”

    The new year has revealed a more matured Kyrgios, which Reid believes began during an off-season training block with Lleyon Hewitt.

    “It all started when he came to Melbourne and did three weeks of really hard training and and showed a lot more professionalism and maturity about his game,” Reid said.

    “He’s doing the right things, he’s not perfect and he’s not going to do everything right every week or become a Roger Federer mentally, he knows that.

    “He’s going to have times when he gets frustrated but he’s making a conscious effort to get better and that’s because he really wants to have a crack this year.”

    Reid, 27, admits it’s tough seeing Kyrgios heavily scrutinised by the public on social media and said the Australian No.1 is only guilty of being a normal 22-year-old.

    “He’s just a young bloke who loves a night out and having fun, he’s one of the boys who likes wants to go play basketball with his mates,” Reid said.

    “Growing up as a tennis player you miss a lot of that because you’re always making sacrifices, so he’s just enjoying himself with his mates.

    “Nick is a great bloke and everyone should see him as that instead of this tennis bad boy because he’s hasn’t really done anything bad in the grand scheme of things.”

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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