Toni Nadal has described Nick Kyrgios as 'a star,' claiming only the Big Three have more influence than him in men's tennis.
Kyrgios has often been a controversial figure in tennis, with his on-court behaviour - that has included throwing chairs, smashing racquets, arguing with both officials and fans, and swearing.
He is unquestionably box office too, with him putting on a brilliantly entertaining showing at the Australian Open this year.
And that is something that has obviously caught the eye of Toni Nadal, who believes only Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer have a bigger following than the Australian.
“Nick Kyrgios is a star on the ATP circuit," said Toni Nadal, who in addition to coaching Felix Auger-Aliassime is also the tournament director for the Mallorca Championship.
"Undoubtedly, after the ‘Big 3’, he is one of the greatest tennis stars in the world, being the player most followed by the younger generations.
“He is a great player who, in addition, gives a lot of show on the court. So Nick’s commitment to play in the Mallorca Championships is very important news for us.
“I hope that his presence in the tournament will bring a lot of people to come to Santa Ponça to follow him.”
Toni Nadal's views represent what appears to be a total reversal of his previous opinion of Kyrgios, which was that he was 'bad for tennis'.
“It is bad for tennis and it has entered a dynamic that hurts you," Nadal said of Kyrgios in May 2019.
"Something is failing, it is not normal, I have seen the images and his attitude is pretty painful.
“I feel bad for him, but something is failing, the ATP has given him too much hype. He plays very well, but with another mindset he would aspire to be even better. He should make an effort to change.
“It’s hard for him to handle the pressure and the difficulty of the competition. It doesn’t do the sport any good, in the end there is no other option but to penalise him.”
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?