“Hypocrite?”- Nick Kyrgios slams ATP’s decision to trial ‘off-court’ coaching

Nick Krygios said that the decision made by the men's tennis governing body takes away from the appeal of the game, in which players had to choose their own path once they entered the court.

Nick Krygios
Nick Krygios

Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios expressed his displeasure with the ATP’s decision to test off-court coaching beginning with the second half of the current season on Wednesday, June 22. The men’s professional tennis tour’s governing body, the ATP, has stated that “off-court” coaching will be trialled at the US Open and all other events in the second half of this season. Coaching will be authorised from designated seats for qualifying and main draw matches at events beginning July 11th, according to the governing body.

Only verbal and non-verbal coaching will be authorised if it does not disrupt play or hinder the opponent, with verbal coaching permissible only when both players are on the same end of the court. Coaches are permitted to use hand signals at any time, but they are not permitted to speak to their players when they leave the court for any reason.

Abuse or misuse of the new coaching conditions will still result in penalties and fines. The trial will last until the ATP Finals in Turin in November, which will conclude the season. The statement by the ATP aligns the men’s tour with the WTA Tour, which already has an off-court coaching trial in place.

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“Completely disagree”- Nick Kyrgios on ATP’s decision

Nick Krygios
Nick Krygios

Nick Krygios said that the decision made by the men’s tennis governing body takes away from the appeal of the game, in which players had to choose their own path once they entered the court. Following Patrick Mouratoglou’s congratulations to the ATP for legalising a practice that has been present at practically every match for decades, Nick Kyrgios made his remarks. Mouratoglou previously coached Serena Williams and is currently Simona Halep’s 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. What happens if a high profile player versus a low ranked player who doesn’t have or (cannot) afford a coach?” Kyrgios said in a social media post, responding to Patrick Mouratoglou‘s tweet.

When Serena Williams received a warning for a coaching infraction in the 2018 US Open final, Mouratoglou was involved in an infamous episode of off-court coaching, which was initially not allowed at Grand Slams. During Serena’s match against Naomi Osaka, he gestured to the audience, subsequently explaining his behaviour and emphasising that he would repeat the action.

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