Two-time Davis Cup winner Mark Philippoussis says Canberra tennis star Nick Kyrgios still has work to do if he's to crack the top 10.
Kyrgios followed his impressive win at the Mexico Open in Acapulco two weeks ago with a straight-sets loss to world No.39 Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round at Indian Wells.
Mark Philippoussis says Nick Kyrgios isn’t on the track to top 10 yet – but he can change that.Credit:AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
It won't affect his ranking of No.33 heading into next week's Miami Open.
Philippoussis, who was at Canberra Tennis Centre to play in the P² Invitational on Thursday, said while it was a positive that Kyrgios had won his fifth ATP title in Acapulco, he probably wasn't on track yet to crack into the upper echelons of the sport.
But that could change. If Kyrgios wanted it to.
Philippoussis said there were "always the same questions with Nick", but he would continue to support his fellow Australian.
He said it was up to Kyrgios to find his own path and he hoped he could build on the Mexico Open win.
"If you're asking me to be honest and say is he going down the way of the path of top 10? Not right now with the way things are going, but that can change," Philippoussis said on Thursday.
"But that has to be a change that someone wants.
"The good news is he came off a win, that's very positive, he's found his game and hopefully he can keep it going. It's as simple as that."
Kohlschreiber went on to beat world No.1 Novak Djokovic in the next round, with the reaction to that match irking Kyrgios.
Djokovic's loss immediately had people looking for excuses for multiple major winner, whereas it was the "same old Kyrgios" following the Canberran's loss.
Kyrgios took to social media to question the double standards.
Philippoussis didn't want to be drawn into the debate because he doesn't pay any attention to social media.
"Kohlschreiber's a very tough player. He's been around. He knows how to win. He's got a great game, one of the best and cleanest hitters on the tour so it's no surprise," he said.
"I think he actually got to the quarters last year in Indian Wells, so loves the desert and plays well there."
Philippoussis flew out from Los Angeles to play in the charity event with Wally Masur and John Fitzgerald, which was raising money for charities Raw Potential Canberra – which supports disadvantaged youth – and The Fly Program – which raises awareness for men's mental health.
The P² Invitational has raised more than $1 million for charity since 2011 and they added in excess of $155,000 to that tally this year, with the two charities splitting the proceeds 50-50.
Kyrgios spoke out about seeing a psychologist to improve his mental health during the summer.
The Fly Program chief executive Matt Tripet said having people with Kyrgios's profile talking openly about mental health was massively important.
"Where high-profile people in our community can talk about mental health, or as we like to look at it, mental fitness, it's such a wonderful thing because it creates opportunities for people in our community to also find some strength from people showing they can be vulnerable to mental health adversity," Tripet said.
"The reality is that half the population in their life will be impacted by mental adversity, directly or indirectly.
"There's a great opportunity for all organisations to use the likes of Nick Kyrgios to be able to really invest to take mental fitness seriously in our community."
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