World No 20 Nick Kyrgios has admitted to “probably” tanking at eight tournaments during his professional career, stating that on certain days he’d ‘rather be doing something else than play tennis’.
An unpredictable figure on court, the Australian has been handed numerous disciplinary fines over the years for his controversial in-match antics.
The 22-year-old was notably fined £13,500 last year for purposely throwing a game away during his second-round match against Mischa Zverev at the Shanghai Masters.
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Prior to that, Kyrgios picked up three separate fines for a “lack of best efforts”, for arguing with a spectator and for “unsportsmanlike conduct”.
And in a recent interview, the Australian admitted that he often struggles for motivation “on the road” and has “probably” tanked eight matches during his professional career.
“I played eighteen tournaments and I probably tanked eight of them, but I'm still ranked in the top twenty,” he told the Daily Mail.
“Some days it's fun to play but sometimes I'd rather be doing something else,” he added. “When I'm on the road there are times when I find the motivation tough. I don't like the long trips, I dread them. I hate the travelling.”
Since his early exit from the Australian Open in January, though, Kyrgios has made more of a concerted effort to improve his professionalism.
The player has spent much of his career without a coach but after the disappointment of Melbourne he has started to work on an intermittent basis with ex-Wimbledon semi-finalist Sebastien Grosjean.
“I really like Seb, he is a caring guy who is helping me and we get along great,” he said. “But I would rather not have a coach if I'm honest. I got sick of people around me saying I need a coach so I've got one. He's not too full on.”
Kyrgios is now turning his attention to Wimbledon where he first made a name for himself as a 19-year-old, beating Rafael Nadal to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament.
“I love it here in London, and I feel Wimbledon is probably my best chance of winning a Grand Slam,” he said.