Wimbledon 2015: Davis Cup drama adds to Nick Kyrgios colour ahead of Gasquet contest

Some love him. Others hate him. Nobody is ignoring him, and few with an opinion on Kyrgios occupy the middle ground

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The Independent Online

Wimbledon showman Nick Kyrgios has reaffirmed his commitment to playing for his country in the Davis Cup after a political row threatened to rip apart Australian tennis.

There were signs the 20-year-old might boycott Australia’s upcoming Davis Cup quarter-final against Kazakhstan after his friend Bernard Tomic was dropped from the team, punishment for an outburst during Wimbledon aimed at tennis chiefs from his country.

But on Sunday evening, Kyrgios said he remained available for selection for Pat Rafter’s team.

“As a proud Australian it’s a pleasure and privilege to be able to represent my country in Davis Cup,” he wrote on Facebook. “As long as I’m fit and healthy, it’s an opportunity I will never pass up.”

Tomic has claimed he was deserted by Tennis Australia and shown “no respect” by its chief executive, Craig Tiley, after having hip surgery last year.

 

But while Tomic said he would play for Pat Rafter’s Davis Cup side later this month, Tennis Australia announced instead that he had been pulled from the squad, with its president, Steve Healy, branding his behaviour “unacceptable” and his claims “misinformed”.

Kyrgios, who faces Richard Gasquet in the fourth round at Wimbledon today, faces a big call about whether to side with his friend or turn up in Darwin for the tie from 17-19 July.

Tomic said following his Wimbledon exit against Novak Djokovic: “It’s interesting what’s happened the last week that Nick wasn’t going to play as well. I was not going to play. He said, ‘If you don’t play, I don’t play’.”

Kyrgios’s antics at Wimbledon this year have raised his profile more than his impressive tennis, with racket flinging, scaling a wall to check on a Lleyton Hewitt doubles match and bawling “dirty scum” – self-directed, apparently – just three factors that have made the youngster from Canberra stand out from the crowd.

Some love him. Others hate him. Nobody is ignoring him, and few with an opinion on Kyrgios occupy the middle ground.

His tennis alone should be cause for distraction, with a string of shots in a third-round win over seventh seed Milos Raonic quite mesmerising.

Kyrgios beat Gasquet in the second round last year, from two sets behind, before toppling Rafael Nadal, and is relishing the chance to play the Frenchman again.

“He’s played plenty of Wimbledons. He’s good on grass,” Kyrgios said. “He’s made semi-finals here [in 2007].

“I’m going to play my game. Whatever happens happens. That’s what I did last year as well.”

Kyrgios speaks his mind, has a sharp sense of humour, and is a breath of fresh air at a time when men’s tennis is going through a period of change, the established ‘Big Four’ no longer quite so dominant as they once were.

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