But after AOC president John Coates told the Herald on Monday he would be “proud to have Nick Kyrgios as an Olympian”, Chiller said she supported that position on the basis of Kyrgios’ undoubted talent.
“Firstly, I think it’s important to point out that I’m fully supportive of [Tokyo Olympics chef de mission] Ian [Chesterman] and John [Coates] and the stance the AOC have taken,” Chiller, who is still on the AOC executive board, told the Herald.
“We want our best athletes there and Nick is part of that group. I’m not responsible for the team any more. That’s Ian’s job now, under the direction of the AOC board.”
Asked whether she still held a grudge towards Kyrgios four years on from the feud, Chiller said: “What happened four years ago happened four years ago.
“What I want to see is our athletes representing Australia in the right way and representing Australia with pride. But I’m 110 per cent supportive of Ian and John and the AOC board. We want our best athletes competing in Tokyo.”
With Kyrgios unavailable and Alex de Minaur still a teenager at the time of the last Olympics, Australian journeyman John Millman was the nation’s leading hope in Rio.
He created his own slice of Olympic history when he became the first men’s singles player to beat an opponent 6-0, 6-0 before he was bounced in the second round.
Jordan Thompson, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Sam Groth all fell in the first round and Australia’s medal hopes would be heavily reliant on de Minaur in Tokyo if Kyrgios was to snub Olympic officials again this year.
Millman was in high spirits after earning his place in the Australian Open second round with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 win against Frenchman Ugo Humbert and said Kyrgios deserved a ticket to Tokyo.
“Yeah, look, I can’t really comment on what happened four years ago – I don’t know what was happening there,” Millman said.
“But, you know, Nick has played Davis Cup, he’s played ATP Cup for the country, he’s right now obviously in a position where he qualifies for the team.
“I don’t know Mr Coates but I can’t see why you’d not let him go to the Olympics. He deserves it just as much as anyone else. I don’t think I’ll have much of a say on it but if Coatesy wants my opinion, that’s it.”
Tennis Australia will nominate a squad of four men’s and four women’s players on June 8, with the only stipulation being those players must be in the top 56 in the world. From there, it is the AOC’s call to take players to Tokyo.
Kyrgios was nominated by TA in 2016 before the feud with Chiller erupted. The 24-year-old was asked about his potential inclusion in the team that goes to Tokyo after his first round win at the Australian Open.
“One hundred per cent. I wanted to play just as much the last time the Olympics were around,” Kyrgios said.
“I feel like if I’m there, I’ve got a genuine shot at winning a medal, one. I’d love to be there with other the athletes representing Australia, two.
“So, yeah, I mean, I would obviously love to be there.”
Sam is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.