Nick Kyrgios from Australia reacts against Stan Wawrinka from Switzerland during a semi final match of the Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Nick Kyrgios from Australia reacts against Stan Wawrinka from Switzerland during a semi final match of the Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili) Kamran Jebreili

OPINION: Athletes closer to home set example for Nick

THERE is probably no young Australian sportsperson getting more publicity at the moment than Nick Kyrgios - and most of it is bad.

The 21-year-old tennis player - I can't call him a professional based on his general performances - last week followed one of his best tournament results with a mind-boggling petulant effort just days later when he simply did not even try to compete.

Rightly he has been heavily criticised and copped a significant fine and three-month suspension. But there is no sign the young brat is even close to learning his lesson.

Hopefully the penny (or multi-million dollar cheque) will drop one day soon and Kyrgios will realise the rare talent he possesses and the opportunity that gives him.

But don't judge all young sports people by his performances.

At the weekend I had the opportunity to spend two days with a bunch of athletes whose professionalism (despite most earning no money for their efforts) puts Kyrgios to even more shame.

The Coolangatta Gold featured some of Australia's best young surf lifesavers showing their skill and endurance in a testing marathon on water and sand.

And despite the stress they were under there were no tantrums, no petulant behaviour.

They set an example that even a brat like Nick Kyrgios could not fail to learn from.

>> Cahill sets the benchmark for nation's athletes



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