Lleyton Hewitt: Patriotism blinding logic

Ed Angeli

Lleyton Hewitt’s latest comments are way off the mark on his fellow countryman, Nick Kyrgios. Maverick, genius, troubled; the superlatives to describe him are endless. Yet former No. 1, Hewitt, believes such talent is able to win Wimbledon, and be a top rank player:

“Even a slow clay court with his power. He can win Wimbledon one day for sure. He is up there already just behind the top four or five guys.” — Lleyton Hewitt, speaking to the Telegraph

For all the players on – and off – court troubles, there is no doubting the Australian’s ability. Potential to be world-class? Yes. Potential to beat the best? Definitely. But potential to be ranked in the top five and win a Grand Slam? No.

Image Source: Twitter
Image Source: Twitter

SEE ALSO: Nick Kyrgios: the renegade that tennis needs

With tennis being such an isolated sport, you’re completely self-dependant. No teammate to help, no one to rely on. You can constantly look up to your box with your coach and family, but there is only so much mental strength they can give you up there.

Kyrgios needs that mental strength; that support. Without that focus and concentration there is no hope for a top 50 player to win a Grand Slam. In terms of ability, any sort of personnel can beat a top rank player; Nick’s capabilities certainly can, hence why victories over top seeds such as Andy Murray and Roger Federer are not all that shocking.

But Kyrgios isn’t self-dependant enough, and it is Hewitt’s further comments on his fellow countrymen that show how Kyrgios requires this form of support for his mental strength and concentration; identifying how a WhatsApp chap has helped with his progression:

“We now have a group chat (on the phone) throughout the year and that’s really helped Nick. Everyone’s on there speaking to him. Telling him how well he’s doing.” — Lleyton Hewitt, speaking to the Telegraph

At just 22, time is on the Australian’s side, his success in the sport has also been highlighted by the $4,237,999 – and counting – prize money he has earned.

But, for all this success, the fact he has not been passed the quarter-final stages at a Grand Slam tournament highlights this weakness in his mental game that will ultimately cost him being a top five player, and winning regular Grand Slams.

Before Grand Slams are spoken about, Nick’s mental ability to stay focused and not say things like: “I don’t want to be here”, and to Stan Wawrinka that the Swiss is “banging 18-year-olds” is something that needs to be stamped out.

Don’t let your talent go to waste, Nick.