By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Roger Federer’s third round masterclass against American Taylor Fritz at the Australian Open on Friday drew gushing praise from bad boy of tennis Nick Kyrgios during a guest commentary gig for the host broadcaster.
Federer, however, was less impressed with Kyrgios’s work behind the microphone for the Nine Network.
Asked to comment on the Australian’s assessments, which included “Federer’s timing is scary good …. Oh, my goodness, butter, so smooth. He’s zoning at the moment” among other pearls, the double defending champion suggested that the 23-year-old, as an analyst, made a great tennis player.
“Yeah, we need him to play first before commentating for the whatever 10-plus years,” Federer said with a smile after beating Fritz in straight sets at Rod Laver Arena.
Former quarter-finalist Kyrgios was knocked out of the first round at Melbourne Park and signed off with a typically sour media conference, snapping at reporters and making sarcastic remarks.
Once touted as a future Grand Slam champion, Kyrgios’s ranking has slumped to 52 amid struggles with injuries and is projected to fall further after the tournament.
“He’s always good for a headline,” said Federer.
“Look, I like Nick. I like the way he plays and all that. Yeah, I was happy to hear that he was in the commentary booth.
“He’s got a bit of time, sticks around, shows he’s passionate about the game. That’s what we need to see.
“But we wish he was on the court rather than a commentary booth. But I hope he did a good job.”
Federer will play Greek young gun Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the quarter-finals.
(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)