Nick Kyrgios‘ personality has been among the most outlandish and talked about since the first day he set foot on the ATP tour. When his name appears in the newspapers or on social media, it is (very often) for matters related to extra-playing events, although thanks to his talent he would have no problem making people talk about him for what he produces on the court.
The Australian tennis player, after his R16 stop in Atlanta, continues his preparations for the US Open on American hard courts at the ATP 500 tournament in Washington, where he is the reigning champion.
He will make his debut tomorrow against the American Mackenzie Mcdonald. Waiting for his debut as a titleholder, Kyrgios has released many interesting insights to the microphones of journalists at the press conference.
Mental Health Problems
“I’ve always felt at home here,” the Canberra player began. “I remember the first time I came to play the tournament, everyone welcomed me with hugs, it was like I was playing in Australia, so I felt very comfortable.
I love the fans, I’m happy to see the city completely open and the courts full, it’s amazing. You can feel that energy on the court, so it’s great to have a full stadium to enjoy it.”
On the long run away from the tour: “Honestly, I don’t miss it that much anymore. It’s nice to be back, obviously, especially in these tournaments where I feel so comfortable and there are a lot of people, so hopefully, it’ll go well.
On the flip side, it’s still crazy, every time I play a tournament I get those vibes that tell me this might be the last time I’m here. In Atlanta, I felt the same way.
It’s like I don’t know where I am, I feel weird about my career right now. Seeing the fans again is the best part of being back, seeing all their support.” Kyrgios then talks about his relationship with tennis, “I feel like I’m not playing for myself anymore, but for a lot of people who can identify with me.
When I was young I didn’t have the goal of winning the Grand Slam or anything like that, I didn’t love the sport. That ended up turning into a good thing, I guess since you beat the best on the tour.
I feel like I was pretty iconic in the sport for just doing things my way, now I see that the gap between tennis and basketball isn’t as wide. Right now I’m playing just for fun, I like being with the fans, talking to them, knowing what they’re doing.
Some of the best memories of my career are with them.” “I’m going at my own pace – continues the Australian, who doesn’t think about goals to reach – I’m not competing with anyone, I don’t feel like I have to climb the rankings or win any tournament.
I’m doing it my way and that’s how I approach it every day. Here I can come and cheer all the fans up with a simple workout, getting them involved and making them part of the tournament. At the beginning of my career, I had coaches telling me what to do, how to do it and how much to improve in the standings.
Now, honestly, I don’t think about any of that. I just do what I want, play a few tournaments and have fun when I can.” Finally, a mention of his fragile mental health and a reference to Naomi Osaka, a protagonist in relation to these issues: “I’ve only played five tournaments in two years, but if you look on social media there are accounts that post about me every two weeks.
If I’m so bad at the sport, why do I get promoted so much? At the end of the day I know I’m good at the sport, you need personalities like that, even though early in my career I received a lot of hate, racism and other nonsense from some fans, it made me stronger mentally.
Something similar happened to me with Naomi Osaka, now that it’s fashionable to talk about mental health, but in my opinion, mine was 20 times worse. They don’t usually get hate messages or historical fines. This sport was going to take me in a dark side, that happened for a while, mentally it was very difficult when I was only 18 years old: I was one of the most known players in Australia and among the most criticized by the media.
I’m 26 now, I’m old enough to know it’s all shit, tennis has struggled to embrace a personality like mine.”