WE have the best in the world - and we have the biggest headline-grabbing tennis jerks in the world right now.
Australian men's tennis is putting everything out on the sport's biggest stage of all that we do not want to be as a nation: tanking, deliberately hitting one of the game's greats fair in the chest and unsportsmanlike (but technically not outside the rules) underarm serves (even if one was an ace). Let alone, the petulant press conferences.
We need to draw a stronger line on who we let represent us as a nation. If it is to be Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios, then we need higher standards and expectations.
And yet, there is a strong contingent continuing to make excuses for Tomic and Kyrgios.
The nation was divided earlier in the week when the national free-to-air broadcaster opted to keep screening Kyrgios' unpredictability and volatility on court over Ash Barty in her first Wimbledon match as world number one.
By the week's end though, Barty won her way into Wimbledon's third round with little fanfare but all the talk was Tomic and Kyrgios.
Tomic has been fined more than what most of us make in a year's wages. Some dub him Tomic the Tank Engine for his lacklustre efforts while others argue effort is far too subjective an issue to fine.
Even his opponent Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, who has twice reached Wimbledon's top-four, says Tomic has been victim to his track record.
Regardless, Tomic's 58-minute victory was the shortest men's hit-out at the All England Club in 15 years. His poor attitude and lack of hunger in his eyes is hard to refute.
Decorated AFL premiership player and coach Michael Malthouse, a Wendouree export, was disgusted at Tomic's ongoing half-baked efforts. Malthouse urged any emerging tennis talent to stick with their game, remain disciplined and passionate to crack into the game's top-100 players. Be like Barty.
Merely showing up for one of the world's most revered and prestigious arenas with disrespect and lack of care undermines sport on its most fundamental level: striving to play your best and fairest.
Barty took time away from the game, in a Women's Big Bash League stint, before returning committed with a great team about her to achieve what they believed was possible.
We should be focused on how Barty can reinvigorate the sport at the grassroots and promote what an amazing ambassador she is for Australian sport.
Barty is a somewhat quiet achiever - big-serving, former Australian tennis player Sam Groth hit-out at Serena Williams this week for not even knowing our Barty was best in the world and should be one of Serena's biggest on-court worries.
But even we are spending more energy talking about Kyrgios' battle with Nadal that had the drama of a professional wrestling match, including smack talk promos and cheap hits to shock crowds. What he needed was a John Cena attitude adjustment.
Watching is ultimately accepting destructive play, and this fuels monsters.
We should instead be looking to role models.
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