In ‘pretty good’ Nick - Murray backs in Aussie bad boy
AUSTRALIA'S Olympic team chef de mission, Kitty Chiller, will no doubt keep a keen eye on the French Open, which starts at Roland Garros tomorrow night.
Chiller has been engaged in a war of words with Aussie young guns Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic, suggesting Kyrgios, in particular, may not "understand what it means to be an Australian Olympian".
While Tomic's decision to make himself unavailable for the Rio Games avoids one potentially difficult decision, Kyrgios' recent form - only world No.1 Novak Djokovic has more wins against top 10 players this year - suggests he would be among the top medal hopes at the Olympics.
And the 21-year-old has some heavy hitters in his corner.
After Tennis Australia boss Steve Healy came out and said people should acknowledge the efforts Kyrgios had made to improve his behaviour, world No.2 Andy Murray jumped on board, saying people just needed to be patient with the young Australian.
"He is funny, polite, he makes fun of himself, he doesn't take himself too seriously. And I think he does seem to be learning all the time," Murray said. "Every week just now he's doing well, so I hope for him that he is there (at the Rio Olympics). I think Nick's behaved pretty good this year."
Mind you, praise from the Scot, who as a youngster earned the nickname Bamm-Bamm after the Flintstones character because of his tendency to smash things up, may not carry quite as much weight as it would from someone such as Roger Federer.
SPEAKING of the Swiss ace, this year's French Open won't quite be the same with fitness concerns ruling the 34-year-old out of a grand slam tournament for the first time since the 1999 US Open.
Federer has clocked up a record 65 consecutive majors since then, but he assured fans they hadn't seen the last of him.
"This decision was not easy to make, but I took it to ensure I could play the remainder of the season and help to extend the rest of my career," he said in a Facebook post.
"I am sorry for my fans in Paris, but I very much look forward to returning to Roland Garros in 2017."