Wayward talents indulged in apologist Australia
By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Nick Kyrgios's astonishing slur against Stan Wawrinka has been widely condemned in Australia, but Davis Cup captain Wally Masur's defense of the wayward talent is likely to draw almost as much heat.
Masur told local broadcaster Fox Sports that Kyrgios's comment to the Swiss -- "Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend" -- had been blown out of proportion.
"When I actually saw the incident, what was fairly obvious is that Nick had his back turned to Stan, he was 90 feet away, and he mumbled it under his breath, I mean no way was he actually being confrontational," he said on Friday.
"It's just a case of the court-side microphone, which is pretty amazing what it picked up, picked up the audio.
"It wasn't the scenario I had in my mind when I read the headlines."
Masur appears to have seen a different video as Kyrgios can be seen in footage approaching the Swiss's side of the court to deliver the verbal barb before walking away with a smirk on his face.
Regardless, Masur's attempt to hose down the controversy has flown in the face of criticism raining down on the troubled 20-year-old, who has been fined by the ATP and could yet face a suspension from the tour.
Kyrgios's sledge, his initial attempt to downplay it and issue of a belated apology only after his ATP sanction will reinforce the view that Australia has become a breeding ground for tennis brats, albeit highly talented ones. Continued...