Nick Kyrgios has ripped into the ATP’s decision to trial ‘off-court coaching’ in the second half of this season, claiming it risks giving certain players an unfair advantage.
The ATP announced coaches, who have previously been prohibited from communicating with players during matches, will now be allowed to speak to them in between points.
Coaching will be allowed at the US Open, however Kyrgios was left seriously unimpressed by the announcement.
Well known for not having a coach in his traveling party, Kyrgios said the move risked removing one of the best aspects of tennis – the psychological game.
The 27-year-old took to Twitter to hit out at the move, which he also argued would potentially disadvantage lower ranked players without access to the required resources to employ a coach.
“Completely disagree. Loses one of the only unique traits that no other sport had. The player had to figure out things on his own. That was the beauty of it,” he posted on Twitter.
“What happens if a high profile player versus a low ranked player who doesn’t have or afford a coach?”
When the change comes into effect, the US Open will mark the first grand slam in the sport’s history, which dates back to Wimbledon 1877, in which coaches will be allowed to converse with mid-match players.
Patrick Mouratoglou, who helped guide Serena Williams to glory, congratulated the ATP for “legalising a practice that has been going on at almost every match for decades” but Kyrgios was adamant in his opposition.
Mouratoglou was involved in the most high-profile piece of off-court coaching at the 2018 US Open final when Williams was given a warning for his gesturing.
The new trial is due to begin on July 11, the day after the end of Wimbledon, where Kyrgios has good reason to believe he could have his best run yet after reaching two grass-court semi-finals in the space of two weeks in Stuttgart and Hall.
Nick Kyrgios withdraws from Wimbledon warm-up over abdominal complaint
Kyrgios has been in ominous form leading up to Wimbledon, making the semi-finals in both Stuttgart and Halle in the lead-up to his return to the All England Club.
Unfortunately, that hot streak ran into an obstacle overnight after he was forced to withdraw from the Mallorca Championships due to an abdominal injury.
The Aussie star should be fit in time for Wimbledon, but it’s a blow to fans who were hoping to see a fully-fit Kyrgios on his most favored surface of grass.
“I’m really sorry I’m going to have to withdraw from tonight’s match here in Mallorca. I have been playing a lot of great matches lately and unfortunately I woke up with a pain in my abs,” Kyrgios said in a statement released by the organisers on Wednesday.
“I went to see the tournament doctor right away and he advised that I don’t play tonight. I really value the Mallorca Championships but I will follow his advice as I don’t want to risk Wimbledon next week.
“I was really looking forward to tonight’s match as I’ve been loving my time here. Mallorca is such a beautiful island with really nice people.”
Javier Cerrato, the tournament doctor, reported: “Nick Kyrgios suffers pain in the rectus abdominis on the left side due to the accumulation of matches in recent weeks and the effort of yesterday’s first round match.
“This will not allow him to return to the court tonight.”
Organisers must have been left disappointed that his exit also prevented the prospect of a blockbuster quarter-final for the Australian against world No.1 Daniil Medvedev, who earned his place in the last-eight on Wednesday with a 4-6 6-3 6 -2 win over Aslan Karatsev.
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