Nick Kyrgios: I speak a lot, but I won a lot | ATP circuit

Having reached his lowest ATP ranking in 2022 since the age of 18 in 2014, Nick Kyrgios does not expect favorable draws at the start of the season. Not that he cares.

The world number 93, who turns 27 in April, will be downgraded upon his return to the ATP Tour at next week’s Sydney Tennis Classic and the Australian Open. But the Canberra native is just as likely to beat a Top 5 player as he is to lose to someone outside of the Top 50, so a draw is really just a piece of paper for him.

“If I’m ranked 1000 or 10 in the world, everyone knows what I’m capable of on tour,” Kyrgios said on Saturday. “I’m not an unproven player… I talk a lot, but I’ve also beaten a lot of players and won a lot of tournaments.

“I won seedless Acapulco and beat four Top 10 players. Such tough draws [don’t bother me]… It’s not something I focus on, honestly. I just want to go out and have fun. People expect me to put on a good show and I think I’m still able to do it.

Kyrgios, who peaked in career No.13 in 2016 and was most recently in the Top 20 in February 2020, remains one of the biggest stars in the game despite his drop in the rankings. And he consistently produces his best tennis at the Australian Open. Last year, he led then world number 3 Dominic Thiem, two sets to love before losing 6-4 in the fifth in the third round. A year earlier, he had beaten Karen Khachanov, then world number 17, in a tie-break in the fifth set before losing to Rafael Nadal in a tie-break in the fourth set in the fourth round.

Kyrgios only appeared in 15 games last season and starts this year late after retiring from this week’s Melbourne Summer Set due to asthma. Spending three or four days in bed with extreme fatigue, he initially thought he had Covid-19, but that thought was refuted by several negative rapid antigen tests.

Still, he didn’t feel well enough to appear in court.

“Last week, with everything floating around these days, obviously I thought it was Covid,” he said. “I felt pretty average… I was testing with those quick tests and all this other stuff, I was testing a lot, coming back negative every time.

“I just wanted to get over it. I still feel the effects, as if my breathing is a little affected. I don’t feel 100% on the court yet… I didn’t want to start last week around 60%… I didn’t want to go out there and force myself to play under these circumstances.

As it turns out, it was asthma that sidelined the six-time touring title winner.

“I have had asthma my whole life. I didn’t really realize how bad it was until I got tested, ”he said. “When I tested at AIS [Australian institute of Sport] Maybe six years ago, they were almost surprised at how bad my asthma was.

“My grandmother smoked packs of cigarettes in the car and her windows were really old, so it took me forever to roll down the window, and before that happened she had already smoked like two. So I smoked passively from an early age. This is probably why my asthma is quite severe.

Kyrgios said his long break at home allowed him to fully rehabilitate his knee and put himself in good mental space ahead of the new season.

“Being at home, going to the gym, having the right physiotherapist… having my team around me and having access to what a professional athlete should have access to. [helped]. It feels good now. ”

“I don’t really dedicate my life to tennis. I take every day that way, like I love to do whatever I do. I don’t train just for tennis. I just train for a happy life. in general I like to feel good and I just like to enjoy my life.

“I know it sounds ridiculous, but I play a bit of tennis on the side.”

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