Daniil Medvedev has stated he and Nick Kyrgios “are not friends” in a piquant prelude to their fourth-round clash at the US Open.
Medevedev will not only have his US Open title defense but his world no.
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Kyrgios proved his run into the Wimbledon final in July was anything but a flash in the pan. At the Hard Court Grand Slam in New York, he already surpassed his best run so far.
In the fourth round, however, he will face his toughest competition yet in the form of the reigning US Open champion and current world No. 1.
Before the game, Medvedev admitted he was ‘surprised’ by Kyrgios’ resurgence and explained that the two are not exactly friends.
“We’re both pretty electric. You never know what’s going to happen,” said the Russian.
“I don’t think we’re friends. When I say “friends,” we haven’t been to the bar together.
“I feel like we respect each other a lot. We never really had a fight or anything on the pitch either, which can change at any moment.
“We’re both pretty electric. You never know what will happen in the future.
“Nick is sometimes a bit different on the court than other tennis players. This is his choice. This is his life. I’m not the one judging that.”
Kyrgios admitted he will bring a siege mentality into the game despite holding a career record 3-1 against Medvedev – including a win at the Canadian Open last month.
“As a tennis player, as an athlete, with any profession, you want to be in those moments. For example, I don’t want to play Futures or Challenger in backyards with no crowds,” said the Australian.
“That’s not why I do this sport. That’s not why I pick up a bat. I want to play in front of millions of people in the biggest stadiums in the world, broadcast worldwide.
“I want to be there. That’s why I work hard. It makes it even cuter.
“I know a lot of people don’t want me to be successful. I know a lot of people hate my game, the way I do things, the way I do it.
“(But) I’m the only Australian left on the men’s side. It’s the same story every time, literally every time at a Grand Slam.
“I’m always thriving. I never want to forget what people are saying. I always carry that chip on my shoulder. I have everything in mind when I play.”
Nick Kyrgios can oust Daniil Medvedev from world No. 1
Kyrgios has an opportunity to overtake Alex de Minaur as Australia’s No. 1 male player with another win over Medvedev.
The 27-year-old can also knock the Russian off his world No. 1 spot, with Rafa Nadal poised to return to the top of the rankings if Medvedev loses to Kyrgios.
Kyrgios said he lives for such opportunities and plays for such high stakes at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I want to be there. I want to be prime time. I want to be on this screen, the screen that they all see. I hug him,” he said.
“Win or lose, I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I worked hard to be in the fourth round at the US Open against Medvedev. I want to be there.
“I think that’s where every tennis player wants to be, to play against the best players in the world in the best stadiums in the world, to get paid well. I look forward to it.”
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