Mats Wilander reckons Nick Kyrgios is becoming a tennis superstar - and worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal.
Kyrgios has been at his eccentric best during the Australian Open but has also delivered success on the court - taking a set off tournament favourite Daniil Medvedev in the second round of the men's singles, and now qualifying for the quarter-finals of the men's doubles after beating Gonzalo Escobar and Ariel Behar on Sunday alongside partner Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Wilander said: "It [Kyrgios's success] is fantastic for the tournament.
Djokovic seals 999th career win in clay classic against FAA, Tsitsipas to play Zverev
"Superstars are made of people going [to matches] to get their expectations fulfilled.
"When you go and see Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal you get your expectations fulfilled whether they win or not.
- Kyrgios and Kokkinakis win amazing rally in wild doubles clash
- 'Thought it was UFC' - Kyrgios claims coach threatened to fight him after doubles upset
"Nick Kyrgios - I have to say - when he's on the big stage we have expectations of him. And he fulfils them whether he wins or loses.
"He delivers just like all entertainers do.
"He's so good for the game, he really is.
"I just wish that when he's not keen to play tennis that he just doesn't show up.
"But hopefully those days are over and he's just enjoying it. It seems like he's enjoying it more than normal."
Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis | Tennis | ESP Player Feature
Image credit: Getty Images
Wilander's comments were echoed by former British No. 1 Johanna Konta.
"He loves playing at home and you can see the dynamic between the two [Kyrgios and Kokkinakis]," Konta said.
"How fun is it as a tennis fan, as an Australian tennis fan, to come out to Melbourne and see these two guys?
"Obviously Thanasi did so well before the Australian Open, it's a shame he didn't get further at Melbourne, however it's great to see them still enjoying themselves."
- - -
Stream the 2022 Australian Open live and on demand on discovery+. A subscription for discovery+ is now £29.99 for the first year for UK users, down from £59.99
When is 2022 French Open? When is the draw? What's the schedule?
Highlights: Shapovalov beats Nadal to reach the Rome quarter finals