US Open 2015: Murray defends Kyrgios from 'bad guy' label

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Flushing Meadows
Nick Kyrgios (left) and Andy Murray
Andy Murray (right) has a 3-0 record against his US Open first-round opponent Nick Kyrgios
US Open 2015
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, Dates: 31 August-13 September
Coverage: Live radio and text commentary on every Andy Murray match plus selected others.

Andy Murray believes US Open opponent Nick Kyrgios can learn from the experience of a torrid past few weeks.

The Australian, 20, was fined and given a suspended ban for comments made about Stan Wawrinka's girlfriend during their recent match in Montreal.

Third seed Murray will face Kyrgios, the world number 37, in the first round in New York on Tuesday.

"I don't think he's a bad guy," Murray told BBC Sport. "He's just got to learn a little bit and he'll be fine."

'What Kyrgios did was wrong'

Kyrgios was initially fined the maximum $10,000 (£6,400) for the "unacceptable comments", which were picked up by on-court microphones.

The governing body, the ATP, last week added a suspended 28-day ban and $25,000 (£16,200) fine for "aggravated behaviour".

Murray said: "What happened a few weeks ago was wrong. I don't defend that and I'm sure he knows it was wrong now as well.

"But he's also an extremely young guy who's still learning about himself and how to behave in certain situations.

"He's made some mistakes but I just think that it's important to remember we're all human beings."

Nick Kyrgios
Kyrgios came to prominence when he beat Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2014

'I'm sure it's been lonely for him'

French Open champion Wawrinka described the Australian's comments as "unacceptable", and they were widely condemned by players and commentators alike.

"He hurt some people's feelings with what he was saying but the last few weeks, as a 20-year-old, he's getting booed on to the court," added Murray.

"He's probably getting abused from all angles on social media, the press will have been extremely harsh on him, the players will have been tough on him as well, and he's had the suspended sentence from the ATP too.

"It's tough and he will have a had a very hard few weeks.

"I'm sure it's been quite lonely for him at times and hopefully he learns from it and becomes a better person through it."