Andy Murray warned Nick Kyrgios that he needs to find his dedication to tennis after the volatile Australian berated himself for his performance in their Wimbledon fourth-round clash.
Murray looked every inch the title favourite in a 7-5 6-1 6-4 win but Kyrgios lost his focus in the second set and did not give his opponent the test that had been expected.
Kyrgios said ahead of the match that it was “love at first sight” with Murray, and the Scot often stands up for his friend when he receives negative press.
There is guaranteed to be more of that after this performance, and this time Murray was in no mood to defend the 21-year-old.
The world number two said: “I think he’s got a bit of time on his side. But obviously there’s a few things he needs to improve and get better at. The sooner he does that, the better for him and his career.”
Kyrgios stayed with Murray until 5-5 in the first set but was broken in the 12th game and then lost his way midway through the second.
He stood to receive serve and repeated the word ‘Wow’ loudly to himself several times and then angrily smashed a return wide.
Kyrgios said: “It was a good first set. The rest of the match was pretty pathetic. I was really comfortable out there the first set. I thought I was playing some really good tennis. I believed that I could win the match.
“As soon as I lost the first set, I just lost belief. Obviously it felt like a mountain to climb after losing the first.
“I think when things get tough, I’m just a little bit soft. I’ve got experience, but it ultimately comes down to just laying it all out there and competing for a long time. I didn’t do that today at all.”
BBC pundit John McEnroe was extremely critical of Kyrgios both during and after the match.
“Disappointment would be an understatement in describing Kyrgios’ effort, particularly as the match went on,” the American said.
“He played a horrible point at 30-40 in the first set to lose it but that means you’ve got to dig in and show, ‘I’m going to play even harder and I want it even more’, instead of just throwing the second set away.
“He’s got to look in the mirror if he wants to become a top player and win slams now. Certainly based on that performance I’ve become more concerned.”