Nick Kyrgios has the potential to win a Grand Slam, says tennis legend Henri Leconte
"If he were to train really hard for one or two years then he has the potential to win a Grand Slam, for sure"
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 13/10/17 12:33pm
Tennis legend Henri Leconte says controversial Australian Nick Kyrgios is in a fortunate position and must "try" because one day "you will wake up and it will be too late".
Kyrgios courted yet more controversy at the Shanghai Masters earlier this week by retiring after losing the first set of his opening-round match against Steve Johnson.
The 22-year-old was subsequently stripped of his first-round prize money and fined an additional £7,500.
The incident came two days after he reached the final of the China Open but endured defeat to Rafael Nadal.
Kyrgios fined for Shanghai walk-off
Nick Kyrgios fined after storming off court during Shanghai Masters
Practice everyday, get ready, try, because one day you will wake up and it will be too late
Former world No 5 Leconte, who was a showman in his own right during his playing days, believes the reluctant rising star of the game has everything in his locker to become a Grand Slam champion.
"From what I've been reading, Kyrgios has said that he is happy to play tennis and wants to give his best," the former French Open finalist and Davis Cup winner, Leconte told Sky Sports.
"You have to hand it to Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt for pushing him and to be ready for his country was great too.
"If he were to train really hard for one or two years, he has the potential to win a Grand Slam, for sure."
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The mercurial Australian, whose undoubted talent has often been betrayed by his quickfire temper, also hit a low-point in Shanghai a year ago when he similarly left the court to jeers, after rowing with the crowd and appearing to give up in his match against Germany's Mischa Zverev.
Leconte believes Kyrgios is in a fortunate position and must realise his potential quickly, otherwise it will be too late.
The Frenchman added a few words of advice for Kyrgios, saying: "Enjoy life. You are very fortunate to play tennis. You are very fortunate to be there. You are very fortunate for everything. Enjoy it, train hard and try at least one or two years - hard.
"Practice everyday, get ready, try, because one day you will wake up and it will be too late."
Henri Leconte was speaking to Sky Sports' Raz Mirza. We will have all the action from the conclusion of the Shanghai Masters before we head to the Erste Bank Open and Swiss Indoors Basel and then the Paris Masters.
The Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and season-ending extravaganza World Tour Finals at London's O2 in November end another memorable year which will be covered via our website www.skysports.com/tennis with live blogs and updates as the season reaches its climax.
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