Nick Kyrgios: 'I wasn't sure if I was okay to feel that way'

“I wasn’t sure if it was okay to feel this way”

No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz vs. Sebastian Baez. Last November, Carlos Alcaraz faced Sebastián Báez in the semifinals of the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals. Alcaraz was world No. 32 and Baez was world No. 111. Ten months later, both have come a long way.

Alcaraz is the third seed at the US Open and Báez fell down one place in the standings after being seeded. In their first meeting, Alcaraz won 4-2, 4-1, 4-2 in Milan. No.23 Nick Kyrgios vs. Thanasi Kokkinakis. The “Special Ks” have been one of the most exciting doubles pairings on tour this season.

They started their season strong by winning the Australian Open. At the time, Kokkinakis said: “We’ve known each other since we were eight or nine years old, we’ve done some great things together, we’ve had some great experiences, but this is incredible.

Australians often refer to each other as ‘brothers’, but only one can advance to the second round at Flushing Meadows. Their first round clash will be their first ATP Head2Head meeting and the first match between them since joining the ATP Challenger Tour in 2014.

Kyrgios is one of the fittest players in the world. The 27-year-old has shown the greatest consistency of his career as he reached the Wimbledon final, won the title in Washington and reached the quarter-finals in Montreal, where he defeated world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev.

However, no one on tour knows him better than Kokkinakis, who thrives on the big stages with his own aggressive game. Kokkinakis’ résumé includes a win over Roger Federer and last year he led Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets at the Australian Open.

That makes it a spectacular showdown between great friends.

Kyrgios about his mental problems

Nick Kyrgios credited Naomi Osaka with helping him open up about his mental health issues. “I struggled with my mental health early on and there were times in my tennis career when I really struggled,” revealed Nick Kyrgios.

“I wasn’t sure if I was okay to feel that way.” The Australian highlighted how interacting with and creating a podcast with Naomi Osaka helped both of them overcome their demons. “But then I actually met Naomi,” Kyrgios continued.

“We did a podcast together, and she kind of opened up. I deal with messages every day with people reaching out and I try to reply to as many people as possible,” Kyrgios said. “I think men my age have a really hard time opening up. Can’t feel weak… [Naomi Osaka] helped me a lot.”

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