Chinan Open 2017: ‘rebel’ Nick Krygios needs understanding, not loathing, says Andre Agassi

Nick Kyrgios has admitted it’s time for him to appoint a coach but who would be prepared to take him on? Photo: Darrian Traynor Giuseppe Lavazza (left) hosting a press conference with Andre Agassi, on screen, at the n Open on Saturday. Photo: SDP Media
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Former world No.1 Andre Agassi said he could have a lot to teach Nick Kyrgios but the young n would have to be willing to listen and learn.

“We know his talent, his high-end ability, it’s as much talent as you’ll see on a tennis court,” Agassi told reporters via video link from Las Vegas on Saturday.

“We have also heard directly from him he hasn’t been a fan of the game and personally has struggled with his desire, with his love for the game.”

On Saturday, Agassi said he could have a lot to offer Kyrgios but said his other commitments prevented him from taking an active role at the present time.

“He’s young and he’s an interesting person, one I would need to spend a lot more time with to understand and hopefully there would be desire on his part … to grow.”

Following his second-round loss to Italian Andreas Seppi, Kyrgios admitted it could be time for him to appoint a coach, as much to help him with his mental game as his physical development.

“I think it’s mental. Mental side of things are big for me. That’s where a coach would be good. But obviously I wasn’t physically 100 per cent. But it’s mental, as well. A massive part of it,” Kyrgios said.

Agassi said his much-publicised struggles with form and drug use meant he could empathise with Kyrgios’ battle.

“I went through many years where I was considered one of the great under-achievers,” Agassi said, adding he was “uplifted” by Kyrgios’ willingness to admit his struggles.

“He’s obviously a rebel of sorts, a fighter of sorts, he might choose to take some of those fights and fight himself and you never want to see that in somebody. I would much prefer seeing him fighting his opponent and fighting the opportunity to get better.

“He’s young enough – I don’t want to say he’s so young that this is why he feels the way he does but because he feels the way he does it’s a good thing he’s this young because he’ll have some time to work through it.”

He cautioned against the media or tennis fans rounding on Kyrgios, saying he knows “how deep one’s struggles can be and how much good can still exist at the same time”.

“I was always someone who cared more than I portrayed because it was my way of hiding myself from myself.

“I wish the good for him because he’s either uncomfortable in his skin at the moment, or maybe too comfortable. Either way it’s a learning process.”

Agassi’s appearance at the Open was organised by Lavazza, in his role as a global ambassador for the coffee company.

On defending champion Novak Djokovic’s shock second-round loss to 117th-ranked Denis Istomin, Agassi said: “It was as much a surprise to me as anyone.

“There’s no reason he can’t turn around as fast as [his game] seems to have left him. We all have our own unique journey. Novak won’t need to learn in as hard of a way as I had to learn [at my lowest point]. He’s a heck of an athlete and he still has time … one of the greatest of all time,” Agassi said.

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