Kyrgios collapses in France, heaps praise on Zverev

Paire into the Winston Salem Open semi-finals

Nick Kyrgios was knocked out at ATP Lyon in the first round, then hinted that Alexander Zverev is a new inspiration for him.

The Australian was in the one set up and in driving seat in Lyon against qualifier Nicolas Kicker, but conspired to lose the second and third sets to the world number 94.

While he fired 16 aces, there were also nine double faults and a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct after he repeatedly dropped his water bottle on the court.

This erratic behaviour has become par for the course for Kyrgios, whose mental side of the game needs some work. He subtly indicated as much in an interview, where he heaped praise on 20-year-old Alexander Zverev following his stunning Italian Open win on Sunday.

“He’s been playing great tennis,” Kyrgios told

“He has a massive future ahead. I actually envy him in a way. He does all the right things. He’s very professional. That’s obviously something I don’t quite tick the box for. He’s done all the right things.

“He’s going to have a great career. He’s younger than me as well.”