‘Exhausted’ Nick Kyrgios confident in his abilities but wouldn’t mind leaving the US Open early

NEW YORK – In one breath, Nick Kyrgios talks about going to the US Open with as much confidence and good play as ever, taking second place at Wimbledon and having some strong results on hard courts in recent weeks.

In the next, always enigmatic, 23rd seed Kyrgios says he can’t wait for his stint in the Flushing Meadows bracket to be over – perhaps as soon as Monday night when he meets his ‘good pal’, a fellow Australian, faces and doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis — so that he can return home to the other side of the world.

When asked what he took away from the All England Club run in July, Kyrgios said: “The confidence in myself to be able to do it over two weeks. Staying in one place for two to three weeks can be exhausting. And knowing that I can do this and do things the right way and take every workout, every recovery session the right way, that’s the confidence in the back of my mind. But I’m also the type of player I probably would have won Wimbledon if I hadn’t played the US Open.”

Mentioning the difficulty of playing at a Major so far from home, Kyrgios said: “A big part of me just wants the US Open to be over so I can go home.”

“It’s brutal not to be able to have the normality of your own bed or family for so long and then you have to deal with all of that,” Kyrgios said, according to The Guardian. “The media, the fans, the training, the games, the pressure, especially on my spectrum – it’s not normal. So it’s hard. It’s really hard, so I’m definitely feeling very drained. Just after Wimbledon I was I don’t even have time to enjoy it.

“…Anybody can go home on the tour. You can take a cheeky little flight home to reset yourself. There is simply no other type of tennis player [who] really understands that [homesickness] apart from the Australians.”

His first-round matchup could otherwise be a much-anticipated highlight of the first day of the final Grand Slam tournament of the year, along with performances from the 2021 men’s champion Daniel Medvedev (versus Stefan Kozlow) and finalist of the French Open 2022 Coco Gauff (versus Leolia Jeanjean) during the afternoon session in Ashe.

The remainder of Monday’s schedule will be overshadowed by the fight that precedes the night of Kyrgios vs Kokkinakis: 23-time Major champion Serena Williamsin what could be the last singles game of her career against Thank you Kovinic. Kyrgios obviously knows how important that is, although he doesn’t expect to watch one as he prepares for the game.

“Obviously it’s a very special moment for her. She’s probably the greatest of all time,” he said. “Whether we see someone living the career that she has or not? I do not believe that is possible.”

His career is quite unique.

Not in the same way, mind you, with notable results. But the way he behaves on the pitch – from the shots between the legs to the conflicts with opponents or chair umpires or fans – is anything but standard.

At Wimbledon, where he made it past the quarterfinals for the first time at a Major before losing Novak Djokovic In a four-set final, as always, there were plenty of big serves and forehands.

Also, there was a $10,000 fine for spitting at a spectator, a contretemps with Stefanos Tsitsipas during and after their game (Tsitsipas said Kyrgios had “a very evil side” and accused him of “constant bullying”) and a back-and-forth about a woman in the stands who Kyrgios said was drunk (and who recently sued him). say so). And during that fortnight news emerged from Australia of a pending court case involving assault charges against a former girlfriend.

Djokovic managed to capture the many sides of Kyrgios with a lengthy reply at a press conference ahead of their center court match last month, noting: “It seems like he’s in better shape mentally than what he was where he was a few years ago,” noting “he thrives on a big stage” and “he has so much talent,” then concluded, “We know what’s been happening to him mentally and emotionally over all these years; on and off the pitch, a lot of different things that distracted him and he wasn’t able to get that consistency.”

That last word isn’t often associated with 27-year-old Kyrgios. It’s appropriate lately.

Since Wimbledon, when the tour moved to the North American hard courts in the run-up to Flushing Meadows, Kyrgios won a doubles title with Kokkinakis in Atlanta (they were doubles champions at the Australian Open in January) and became the first man to ever win both singles and doubles titles in Washington that same year and then defeated Medvedev en route to the quarterfinals in Montreal before ending in a second-round loss to the top American TaylorFritz in Cincinati.

“I was just so exhausted mentally and physically. Mentally I wanted to get out there and do another good job; my body almost wouldn’t let me. It was like trying to get a lawnmower going after four or five times. It just didn’t work,” said Kyrgios. “There is so much going on at home – my brother has had a baby, my mum is ill. It’s just hard to be gone. It definitely weighs on me every day that I’m on the road longer. I just want to go home, something like that. But I know this is an important event, so I just have to put it aside.

Some players will never admit they watched the draw to see what might happen later in a tournament. Kyrgios is not one of them.

He believes he and Kokkinakis have been placed in a “big section” of the bracket, “so each of us has a great opportunity to capitalize.”

Still, Kyrgios added: “Whether I win or lose, it will be the same for me. … It’s a win-win situation for me. If I win it’s more money and another great result. If I lose, I get to go home.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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