Time for action, not words, for Kyrgios

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That Nick Kyrgios knows what he needs after his Australian Open exit is a positive, maybe the only one.

The Australian fell apart in a five-set loss to Italian Andreas Seppi in the second round at Melbourne Park on Wednesday.

What had looked so promising turned incredibly quickly.

Kyrgios seemed on track for a straight-sets win and the third round, but instead found himself a 1-6 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 6-2 10-8 loser on Hisense Arena.

It was a characteristically wild Kyrgios match.

He fell behind a break in the fifth and played a 'tweener as Seppi served - unsuccessfully - for the match in 12th game.

Seppi saved a match point with a screaming forehand winner, broke again in the 17th game and closed out victory.

It took just over three hours, but should have taken less than two. The 14th-seeded Kyrgios should have advanced and it should have been relatively straightforward.

But the 21-year-old, who said afterwards he was battling a knee injury, came unstuck again.

With his talent, Kyrgios is capable of much more than his two quarter-final appearances at grand slams.

Standing in his way? Nick Kyrgios.

"That's how I feel. That's how it's been my whole career really," he said.

"I put my head down, want it. But things happen. It's just me not being able to be consistent, not really wanting it. Stuff like that happens."

A contradictory statement of truth.

Kyrgios needs a coach. He needs better management. He needs to take pre-season more seriously. His words.

It's been said before.

Kyrgios has time, even if some are growing tired of his antics. He was booed following his loss to Seppi.

While he has shown some signs of maturity - his honest post-match a reflection of it - the time has come for actions, not words.