Sport wrap up: Give us something worth supporting

TENNIS BRAT: Nick Kyrgios returns the ball in his match against Argentina's Juan Monaco during this year's Wimbledon Grand Slam. Kyrgios made the news for all the wrong reasons when his campaign imploded this year, which was in contrast to last year's efforts including the defeat of then world number one Rafael Nadal. Kirsty Wigglesworth

CHEERING for Australia in any sport should not be troublesome for the average punter at home on the couch.

After all, being a proud Australian means chanting "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie" and throwing unconditional sport behind our teams and athletes.

But never before in tennis has it been more difficult to get behind Australia's newest crop of emerging stars.

The sun has set on Lleyton Hewitt's career. Indeed, some may argue the sun went down years ago.

We now have the dawn of a new era of men's tennis in Australia has Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic leading the pack.

After a tumultuous Wimbledon campaign for our two brightest tennis players, both athletes have made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

I gave up supporting Tomic years ago. His big mouth and arrogant attitude had all the hallmarks of an ungracious player who resembled little more than a spoilt brat.

Sadly, my opinion of Tomic is now closely matched by that for Kyrgios.

Kyrgios burst onto the tennis scene in a big way at last year's Wimbledon Grand Slam tournament, knocking out then world number one, Rafael Nadal, in four sets to reach the quarter-finals.

It was a watershed moment in the Australian's career and his public profile.

He proved he had the talent, the nerve and the belief to cause the world's top players trouble.

Australians, desperate for a new champion to support, seized the moment and quickly made the player a household name and sporting idol.

But Kyrgios has rightly fallen from grace after this year's Wimbledon campaign.

His on-court antics and blatant disrespect for officials is more than cause for concern.

And while officially cleared of tanking in his loss to Frenchman Richard Gasquet, the footage warrants suspicion.

The Australian bunted back returns of serve into the bottom of the net and shrugged his shoulders during the middle of a disgraceful capitulation.

Champions never give up. Just look at Serena Williams.

Williams could lose a leg on court and would still refuse to give an inch.

Not Kyrgios. He pouted, sulked, attacked the umpire and officials and gave himself the psychological security blanket of knowing that when he lost it was because he was not trying.

It is behaviour common among children at a club level - not in the upper echelons of the professional game.

I will largely steer clear of the Dawn Fraser controversy arising from Kyrgios' Wimbledon effort.

Her comments were short-sighted and poorly worded, granted, but the squeals of disapproval from the Kyrgios camp are more about finding a timely distraction than genuine outrage.

Australians are desperate for a champion to support and I feel their frustration.

We just need our players to give us something, just something, to work with as the rose-coloured glasses work for only so long.

Good week

Gympie footy player Lachlan Torrisi swaps league for American football, throwing on the helmet for an Australian side playing a World Cup qualifier against New Zealand last weekend. The side now flies out to represent the region in the U.S. next week.

Bad week

Gympie Diggers' top division side suffers another loss at the weekend, falling to Nambour by a goal.


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