Filthy Kyrgios slams ‘messed up’ commentary
Nick Kyrgios cops criticism for a lot of things but he's nothing if not loyal to his mates.
The Aussie hit out on Twitter in response to a video package produced by The Tennis Channel in which American tennis reporter Jon Wertheim looks into the fall from grace of US star Jack Sock.
Sock's slide in 2018 has created a stir Stateside, with nobody quite sure what's behind his alarming drop. After starting 2018 as the highest ranked American male singles player inside the top-10, by the end of the year that ranking had ballooned out past triple figures and he now sits at 104th in the world.
The new year hasn't provided Sock with the fresh start he craved, suffering a four sets loss in the first round of the Australian Open to local wildcard Alex Bolt.
As Wertheim says in the video: "There are slides, and then there is the downhill run of Jack Sock. This is not a slump - it's a slump that's grown legs and a tail."
Kyrgios didn't appreciate the analysis of his mate's troubles, lashing out on social media in response to the commentary, describing it as "messed up".
The pair are close, having clearly enjoyed their time sharing the court together. Kyrgios won his first ever doubles title with Sock by his side at a pre-French Open tournament in Lyon last year.
They also bonded as teammates of Team World during the Laver Cup under the watchful eye of captain John McEnroe.
While Sock's singles ranking has tanked, life on the doubles circuit has been kind to him. Last year he partnered with countryman Mike Bryan to win consecutive grand slams at Wimbledon and the US Open, while they also claimed the top prize at the season-ending ATP Finals in London.
However, doubles fortunes alone won't be enough to convince Sock of his worth in the tennis world. Speaking after his shock opening round singles exit in Melbourne last month, the 26-year-old revealed if he couldn't hack it on his own then it was time to give the sport away.
"I can personally say if I'm not relevant in the singles world and my only choice is to play doubles, I'd probably stop playing tennis," Sock said, according to the New York Times.
His 9-21 singles record last year was a startling reality check, especially after things looked so bright as he won three of his four career singles titles in 2017. But fellow American star Ryan Harrison doesn't want to see Sock leave the sport just because he isn't hitting the heights everyone expects of him in singles.
"Jack doesn't want to feel discredited for his singles ability because of his dominance in doubles. And a lot of time his success in doubles overshadows him as a top-10 singles player," Harrison said.
"He's going, 'I've been eight in the world in singles, and people are talking about me like a doubles guy.' That perception is always going to be difficult for him.
"I've told him it'd give him more confidence in singles if he took more pride in literally being the most dominant doubles player. He feels like he's being viewed as someone not capable of playing singles."