Tennis legend Andre Agassi has had his say on divisive Aussie tyro Nick Kyrgios’s current situation, saying that the world number 13 needs a coach that can understand him.
Agassi was similarly troubled in his own younger days, but managed to come through a "long, painful process" before becoming one of the sport’s all-time greats.
The eight-time grand slam winner said that Kyrgios has "as much talent as possibly you could ever see on a tennis court", but that he needs to be loved rather than berated.
"You just never know what journey someone's been through," Agassi told AAP from Las Vegas.
"Has he ever really had somebody who attempts to understand him? Has he ever ever really felt that he's worthy enough to be cared about?
"What is his struggle and what is his angst and what does he feel? Has anybody done anything except bark at him about what he should be versus understanding who it is that he is?
"Those simple human engagements create a dynamic where you either earn respect or you don't.
"I can honestly say from a distance if Nick Kyrgios doesn't respect you, it's because you haven't earned it or it's because he doesn't respect himself."
Agassi suspects Kyrgios’s stand-offish attitude is the Aussie’s way of masking insecurities, similar to how he himself acted in his early years.
"I was somebody who cared more than I portrayed because it was my defence," Agassi said.
"It (confrontations with officials) was my way of hiding myself, from myself, and I needed to come to terms with that through a long, painful process."