'Killing tennis': Nick Kyrgios lashes out at critics of team events

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter

Nick Kyrgios has shot back at criticism of multiple team tournaments with claims the Davis Cup, Laver Cup and the new ATP Cup are key to the survival of tennis.

Kyrgios pulled off a dramatic victory over Steve Darcis to help Australia take a 1-0 lead against their bogey Team Belgium.

‘WE CAN WIN IT’: Aussies buzzing after electric David Cup win

The Aussie maverick rattled off a host of aces in the second-set tie break to steal the win in dramatic fashion and put Australia in a commanding lead.

But before the match, Kyrgios responded to critics who have questioned the merits of having three team events played within a four-month window.

Nick Kyrgios thinks team events are the future of tennis. (Getty Images)

Staged annually in September, the Laver Cup sees two teams from Europe and the Rest of the World face off in a different city and is the brainchild of Roger Federer's Team8 management company.

The ATP and the ITF, who run world tennis, have been involved in a bitter stand-off for years over the Davis Cup, which is currently being played in Madrid, and the announcement of the former's new-look event last year by Gerard Pique's Kosmos Group only strengthened the feud.

Subsequently, plans were revealed for this January's ATP Cup, in association with Tennis Australia, which will see 24 world teams compete for ranking points and prize money totalling more that $A21.5 million.

Matches will be played in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney as a pre-cursor to the Australian Open which gets underway from January 20 - just six weeks after the conclusion of the Davis Cup.

But Kyrgios, who has previously admitted he prefers watching the NBA more than tennis, believes his sport desperately needs team competitions to maintain relevance outside the four grand slams.

"I Just think moving forward that is the way the sport has to go," he told AAP.

"You look at the best sports in the world from an entertainment purpose they are killing tennis.

"That is why the ATP and the ITF are trying to create more events because if they continue to go down the path they are right now the sport will die out.

"You look at the Laver Cup, you had 17,000 people cheering every night and being here in Madrid it's great.

"I just love being with this Australia team. TV viewers like it and I think people want to see more of it. It needs to happen more to move the sport on."

Sport is entertainment: Kyrgios

Kyrgios acknowledged the four grand slams will always be the pinnacle of tennis but said interest in the sport wanes due to the plethora of tournaments taking place around the world every week.

"From entertainment purposes I don't think too many people are going to tune in to watch a 250 event in Antwerp," he said.

"There has to be more events like the Laver Cup where there is 17,000 watching and there is more viewers than during a grand slam.

"Sport is entertainment at the end of the day and if no-one is watching then tennis will die out."

With AAP