I hope this letter finds you well.
Over the last few months, the world has witnessed some amazing tennis globally, however that has been overshadowed by a few incidents that clearly could’ve been avoided altogether.
The global tennis family has never been so interconnected and diverse, perhaps the reason why the game has grown to where it is today. Athletes can make a living simply by playing tennis as a professional. They are travelling in large groups, often with other family members and training with ex-professionals. That’s quite a privilege.
I don’t believe any player can climb up the ATP rankings and behave in the manner that the world has just witnessed (re Nick Kyrgios) without showing signs of this arrogance and immaturity being displayed at an ITF level. When will the ITF start being considered the true breeding ground of professional tennis? That is today’s reality. By the time a player reaches a ranking which allows them to qualify for ATP/WTA level events, they would have spent a minimum of 3 years competing at the ITF level in order to obtain that ranking. So, how can such behaviour go undetected? No amount of fine/penalty will fix the problem, since it goes deeper than one outburst in the heat of the moment. This player cannot control his own emotions. If he weren’t on a tennis court and acted the way he did in public, there would be a little more than a fine coming his way.
The ATP has a responsibility, as do the ITF and all national federations to protect the integrity of the sport, the way it is played and perceived. One person cannot damage the entire reputation of the sport but one person can influence an entire generation.