• Twitter - Grey Circle
  • Instagram Clean Grey
  • Twitter - Grey Circle

Talented but troubled

Let's get one thing clear: I'm as patriotic as the next person. If there's an Australian to be cheered, a team to back, then I'm in.

But right now I'm having trouble. Serious trouble.

I'm talking tennis and, for my mind, a couple of young brats - Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic. Sorry, but I find their attitude, that brash arrogance, way beyond acceptable.

I'm embarrassed that, in my view, the two most repugnant characters on the tennis circuit happen to represent us. Me. Seriously what were their fathers doing when they needed a serious clip behind the ear?

Now I know the apologists are going to say they're young and just need to grow up and all that. I get that.

But you don't have to be mature, you don't have to be experienced to know that certain levels of behaviour just aren't good enough. Or that you are representing your country on the international stage. Or that the game you supposedly love deserves respect. That all the great players who came before you deserve to be honoured with a level of behaviour that they too upheld.

Really, these guys are something else.

We have Kyrgios telling Stan Wawrinka, a player who seems to carry himself well in my opinion, that a fellow Australian player is'"banging your girlfriend". And then at the end of the match he wanted to dismiss it with a trite "sorry about that".

He has form in that regard. After humiliating an umpire at the 2016 Australian Open for an apparently dud call, he is informed during the press conference that the call was correct. He replies: "Okay, my bad."

That's it?

Humiliate someone in front of thousands of people for doing their job, and then dismiss it with "my bad"?

Not good enough. Nowhere near it. You're not even saying it to the person's face.

And then Tomic. Gleefully pointing out that people are jealous because a 23-year-old has $10 million in the bank. Refusing to turn down music in an American hotel penthouse suite when police are called, holding his racket backwards on match point when he's about to lose ...

Sorry it shits me.

And it has nothing to do with how much money he has.

It has to do with respect for your sport, your fellow players and the public.

These are very talented guys no doubt, but they still haven't won much yet.

These aren't a Federer or a Nadal, a Sampras or an Agassi.

The reality is they play a sport that is televised around the world and where every court has multiple television cameras and microphones. Everything they do and say will be picked up. That's the price they pay for living this surreal lifestyle.

For me, a certain level of behaviour on court seems a pretty small price to pay.

I know I'm only speaking on behalf of one little household, but as much as I want to cheer for them, I just can't. And I suspect there are other Australian households feeling the same way.

Maybe in a few years when they grow up.