Nick Kyrgios of Australia during play against Andreas Seppi of Italy at the Australian Open.
Nick Kyrgios of Australia during play against Andreas Seppi of Italy at the Australian Open. JULIAN SMITH

Ball in Kyrgios's court over coach, says Philippoussis

MARK Philippoussis says it is time for Australian ace Nick Kyrgios to take control of his tennis destiny.

Philippoussis said he wanted to see Kyrgios pick up the phone and hire a coach, adding that the 21-year-old must make the appointment himself instead of relying on his management.

"He's got to be the one to say 'I want this person' and he's got to be the one that's willing to call that person and not his management group,” Philippoussis said.

"He's got to get the phone and say 'Hi, I'd love to have the conversation, I'd love to work with you, I'm ready to work' and that's it. Until he wants to do that then it shouldn't be anyone, he should continue just being on his own.”

Kyrgios, after his shock Australian Open second-round exit, admitted it was time he hired a coach to help with the "mental side” of his game.

Philippoussis, among others, has been linked as a potential candidate for the Kyrgios coaching job.

"I don't know him. I know him, but I don't know him too well. People think I know him but I don't,” Philippoussis said.

"Nick's got to make that decision. No one else but Nick has to make that decision because he's got to be the one that finds someone that he respects ... more important he's got to be willing to listen to that person whoever it is.”

Last year at Wimbledon Kyrgios made similar admissions, including the prospect of a player-coach partnership with crafty Czech Radek Stepanek.

Nothing eventuated.

"It's important not just words but actions as well,” Philippoussis said.

"If he doesn't act on it (finding a coach), time flies very quickly and you don't want to see that time wasted, especially right now because he does look lost.”

The former Wimbledon and US Open finalist on Monday questioned Kyrgios's preparation leading into the Australian Open.

Kyrgios carried knee soreness into his home slam after a basketball mishap during the off-season.

"He doesn't do any favours for himself, certain things that he does, but he's a good kid,” Philippoussis said.

"He should have come into this event incredibly strong, physically, so to come into the summer with a niggling injury for me didn't make sense ... (he had) plenty time to work.”

HERALD SUN

News Corp Australia

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