New York: Australian cricket great Shane Warne told tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios Thursday respect was more important than being liked and warned him "you`re testing our patience mate".
Showman Kyrgios has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons, with his sex slur at Stan Wawrinka last month sparking stinging criticism from fellow players.
He lost at the US Open Tuesday to Andy Murray before jousting with the media over his reputation and behaviour, which some see as petulant and disrespectful while others view as good for a sport in need of characters.
Warne, no stranger to controversy himself, offered his fellow Australian some attitude tips, and urged him not to waste his talent.
"We all realise you`re only 20 & have a lot to learn buddy. But please don`t waste your talent, everyone in the world, especially us Australians want to respect u," he wrote on his Facebook page.
"Remember respect is way more important than being liked, u need to respect the game of tennis & yourself."
Kyrgios was criticised for his audacious shot selection during his loss to Murray and Warne said learning from his mistakes was a demonstration of true character.
"We all make mistakes, but it`s how we learn from them & the way we conduct ourselves when we lose that shows true character," he said.
"You`re testing our patience mate, show us what you`re made of & how hungry you are to be the best in the world, it`s time to step up & start winning, no excuses.
"No shame in losing, but show us you will never give up, that you will give it everything to be the best you can be, respect is earned not given! I believe in you & know you can do it, but now`s the time my friend."
Kyrgios was slapped with a 28-day ban and US$25,000 fine over his verbal abuse of Wawrinka at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
But both punishments will be waived if he avoids any fines for verbal or physical abuse at ATP events over the next six months.