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 Tennis great Rod Laver serves up criticism of Nick Kyrgios
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Tennis great Rod Laver serves up criticism of Nick Kyrgios

Agency News

Sydney, Sep 4: Australian tennis great Rod Laver has criticised fellow countryman Nick Kyrgios for his erratic on court behaviour, telling media on Wednesday that it is detrimental to the 24-year-old's game.

Kyrgios suffered a third round exit at the US Open this week, having now gone five years since reaching a Grand Slam quarterfinal, with the admission that he has "no idea" how to make good on his potential.

According to Laver, who is in New York to mark the 50th anniversary of his second calendar Grand Slam, Kyrgios' issue is "obvious" -- a lack of discipline.

"I don't know if he's deliberately aiming for publicity or whether he's aiming at individual things that he wants to accomplish, but that's the one thing he lacks is discipline," Laver told the AAP.

"And if he got some discipline, then most things come pretty simple."

Laver is among the world's greatest ever tennis players, holding the world number one position between 1964 and 1970, as well as being the only player to twice win all four major titles in one year, in 1962 and 1969.

He says that Kyrgios' on court antics are affecting his focus and costing him when it comes to winning matches.

"You don't interfere with your talent and that's what he's doing, is interfering with his own ability," Laver said.

Regularly making headlines for infringements and blow ups, often directed at match officials, Kyrigos is currently facing up to a 12-month ban for abusing and spitting at an umpire, and subsequently accusing the governing body of corruption when they issued him a 113,000 U.S. dollar fine.

But Laver says that if Kyrgios can maintain his composure there is plenty of opportunity for the youngster to make his mark.

"He's got probably the best serve in the game and so he knows how to win, but he has to apply himself and that's the one thing that's been a problem for him," Laver said.

"Tennis is a mental game in many ways and he's letting too many things get into the game of tennis."(XINHUA)