Nick Kyrgios lets off some steam on his way to a second-round Wimbledon win. Picture: Johnathan Brady
Nick Kyrgios lets off some steam on his way to a second-round Wimbledon win. Picture: Johnathan Brady

‘Pathetic’ Kyrgios blasted by Wimbledon champion

FORMER Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has delivered a brutal assessment of Nick Kyrgios, branding his antics childish and "pathetic" and claiming the Aussie star won't win a grand slam because he lacks the work ethic.

Taking aim after Kyrgios was involved in another mid-match umpire row during an impressive 6-3 6-4 7-5 second round win over Robin Haase, 2013 women's champion Bartoli didn't hold back.

Asked on BBC's Wimbledon coverage whether the Australian was capable of winning a major tournament, Frenchwoman replied: "I don't think so. Just because his work ethic is just not good enough to win a grand slam.

"And even when Rafa (Rafael Nadal) and Roger (Federer) will eventually retire, the field is just too strong. And all of the other players just put so much hard work (in) to be there.

"Even if he has all the talent in the world - and I'm defnitiely not questioning that - I don't think he will be able to put seven matches in a row."

Asked by fellow commentator John McEnroe whether she put enigmatic Frenchman Gael Monfils in the same basket, Bartoli slammed both stars as "childish".

"Absolutely (I do). And that's why Gael has never won a grand slam as well and it's a true shame because those kids have just so much potential," she said.

"It's really, in a way pathetic, to see them just being (childish). It just seems like they can't grow up. They can't become men they just can't take charge of their own lives.

"I wish Gael had done it before and I truly hope Nick will be able to get it together at some point. I don't know what he needs … maybe a wake-up call to see he's going to waste his life if he keeps on acting like that."

Kyrgios responded to Bartoli's broadside on social media, writing "Hahahahaha, good perspective".

Many see Kyrgios as a legitimate chance of breaking the big four's 15-year mortgage on the Wimbledon crown at this year's event.

The elimination of 2017 finalist Marin Cilic has left Kyrgios as the biggest threat to Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who have won 13 titles between them since Lleyton Hewitt's reign in 2002.

The only other player to have kissed the trophy since Hewitt is Andy Murray and he's not around this year because of a longstanding hip injury.

Kyryios, though, says the usual suspects remain the favourites.

"Murray not playing helps," Australia's 15th seed said after overcoming his inner demons and a mini foot-fault crisis to book his place in the third round with a 6-3 6-4 7-5 win over Robin Haase.

"I mean, Federer is unbelievable. The other three guys are, I think, still playing really good. Novak is looking really confident. Rafa beat a tough guy today on grass, Kukushkin, (who) is not easy to beat.

"To beat him in straight sets is really solid. Federer is just dicing people up.

"I don't know if we can do much. We can just take care of business every day until we meet them.

"Hopefully we can play our best tennis. If that's not good enough, it's not good enough. Can't really do much."

- with AAP



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