We may be witnessing the emergence of a kinder, gentler Nick Kyrgios, with reports today that, in his first extended interview since the Stan Warwinka sledging incident, the young Aussie star has admitted he got the punishment he deserved.

Earlier this week, the Association of Tennis Professionals warned Kyrgios that, unless he’s on his best behaviour for the next six months, he’ll face a $US 25,000 fine and a 28-day suspension.

“I think it’s fair. I deserved to be punished to some extent and obviously I’m still young,” Kyrgios told U.S. media.

“They’ve given me the impression that they are going to start locking down on that sort of stuff so I’ve definitely learnt my lesson.”

Kyrgios maintains that, while he’s “not embarrassed” by telling opponent Warwinka that Thanasi Kokkinakis “banged” his girlfriend Donna Vekic, he wouldn’t do something similar again.

“I originally didn’t think it would get picked up like that,” he said, “but it happened, and I guess I just learn from it.” Kyrgios added that he apologised to Warwinka publicly and privately, although “whether he accepted it or not” is another matter.

As for how he plans to keep a cool head and avoid getting slapped with ATP sanctions, the young Aussie said:

“I obviously know I’ve got to keep everything in order and obviously be on my best behaviour out there, but at the same time I’m not going to go out there and not show any emotions at all. I think I’m going to go out there and just back myself.  It’s going to be fine. If I have a lot of positive energy going out there, I think I’ll be fine.”

Quite apart from all this, Kyrgios has copped what may be the worst possible draw in the upcoming U.S. Open, facing world number three Andy Murray in the first goddamn round. 

The pair have met three times, with Murray handily snatching victory on each occasion. Whether Nick can rally (TENNIS HUMOUR!) this time and cause an upset remains to be seen.

via SBS News
Photo: D Dipasupil via Getty Images