Eleven-time grand slam champion Rod Laver reckons fellow Australian Nick Kyrgios can be the best in the world. On one condition.
Laver believes the world No.13 is capable of dominating world tennis but says the 21-year-old must first curb his wayward court antics.
Kyrgios has been in top form in this week’s Hopman Cup following an eight-week suspension from the ATP for tanking at the Shanghai Masters and Laver is backing him to excel at the upcoming Australian Open if he can get his head right.
"Ability-wise, he could be the best tennis player in the world, only he is the one that gets in his way" Laver said.
"He plays some magnificent tennis but then something gets in the way and he finds himself being challenged by other things, whether behaviour or whatever seems to come up.
"Looking at maybe (his) maturity ... he's still very young on the world tour. I want him to be the best player in the world. We need another great Australian champion."
Laver encouraged Kyrgios to build mental toughness to avoid his past controversies which have seen him abuse umpires and even crowd members.
"I didn't throw my racquet heaps ... maybe I took (my disappointment) inward," Laver said.
"But a lot of the players, you can name any number that you can say 'well, that wasn't good behaviour'.”