Nick Kyrgios eyes image change
Tired of being branded as a wasted talent, Nick Kyrgios hopes his “amazing tennis” will get the critics off his back so they might give him space to relax off court and not condemn him for enjoying a beer at a pub.
A day after stunning world No.1 Daniil Medvedev, the Australian Kyrgios steamrollered compatriot Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-3 at the Canadian Masters on Thursday to notch up his 15th win from 16 matches.
The fiery Wimbledon finalist has often struggled to stay motivated but now hopes to keep his hot streak alive ahead of the US Open, which starts on August 29.
“I’m doing this for a lot of people. (I) want to prove to myself that I can still play some amazing tennis,” the 27-yearold told reporters.
“I’m doing it for a lot of people just so I can have a bit of peace and quiet, I can actually rest at night time. I feel like, compared to other players, I deal with a lot of shit, negativity, bad media, bad articles, this, that, wasted talent, whatever.
“So I feel like when it’s all said and done, if I continue to play like this for a little bit, prove people wrong, I can just relax a little bit. Like, have a beer at a pub, not get bothered about it.”
Famous for his explosive tantrums and conduct violations, Kyrgios said the media had judged him based on the “2 per cent” of his life on court.
He said he no longer cared what people thought of him on court but drew the line when fans yelled “racial slurs” at him. “When they cross that line, then that’s when I’ll probably talk back a little bit,” he said.
He added that he was a strong believer in the need to be two different people to be a successful athlete. “You can’t be a super nice guy, a generous guy all the time on the court, otherwise I’d be terrible at the game. Tennis players have to be selfish.”