Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios who entered the 3rd round of Wimbledon 2021 on Thursday, has said that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic are “like Gods”, adding that tennis also needs “common” people like him.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 2, 2021
The mercurial crowd-pleaser reached Wimbledon 2021. He served his way into the third round with a 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-4 win over Gianluca Mager, a Wimbledon debutant and the world No.77 from Italy. There were 29 aces, 59 unreturned serves; there were jokes with the crowd and a running dialogue with himself. And, of course, there was a certain amount of interaction with the umpire. In between, he absorbed coaching tips from random fans while discussing the merits of Tottenham Hotspur.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 1, 2021
“Not everyone can be a Federer or Djokovic or Nadal. These are, like, once-in-a-decade athletes that inspire millions of people. Like, they’re just gods. I see them like that, too,” said the 26-year-old Kyrgios.
“But you have to have some people, I believe, that are relatable, that people can bring other fans to watch, like people that are just normal.
“I feel like I’m one of those people. I’m Nick Kyrgios. I know who I am.”
YouTube is full of videos containing peculiar Nick Kyrgios moments. Fans, officials, players are divided over how the 26-year-old conducts himself.
For Nadal and Djokovic, he is just a brat who lacks respect for the sport and its traditions.
On the flip side, Kyrgios once described Nadal as “super salty” and Djokovic as “boneheaded” for organising the Adria Tour event during the Covid-19 pandemic.
When a brash, teenage Kyrgios announced his arrival in the sport by stunning Nadal at Wimbledon in 2014, he was seen as the next big thing in tennis. He has definitely been headline news but not always for the right reasons in a career filled with fines, suspensions and some extraordinary display of tennis.
However, he continues to attract a crowd and makes sure to entertain them whenever on the court.
“They know it’s a bit of a show. They just want entertainment at the end of the day,” said Kyrgios after his match on a packed Court 3.
“Like a couple screaming out asking normal questions about Tottenham Hotspur. It’s a bit odd.
“It’s crazy out there. I have people in the front row literally coaching me, like literally telling me, That’s all right, good ball, great return, it will work next time, good depth.
“I’m like, Dude, what is going on out here?”
Usually described as one of the most talented players to have not won a Grand Slam, Kyrgios says he is happy with a career that has so far bought him 6 tour titles and almost $9 million in prize money.
The closest he has got to a Slam title is two runs to the quarter-finals — at Wimbledon in 2014 and the Australian Open in 2015.
“I’m okay with not winning Grand Slams. I know that’s going to make a lot of people angry,” he said.
“He should be doing this. But I shouldn’t, though. It’s not your life, it’s mine. I’m okay with just enjoying myself, putting on a show.”