‘Three more matches potentially, then we NEVER have to play tennis again’: ‘Super proud’ Nick Kyrgios hints at shock retirement after beating world No 1 and defending champion Daniil Medvedev to reach the US Open quarter-finals
- Nick Kyrgios produced superb display of power to beat Daniil Medvedev
- The world No 1 – beaten under the lights on Arthur Ashe – will lose that ranking
- Australian Kyrgios has spoken extensively about the influence of his team
- Now he wants to make the hard work count by living up to his enormous talent
Nick Kyrgios is through to the last eight at the US Open, while simultaneously hinting that Serena Williams might not be the only retirement at this event.
There is the genuine prospect of the 27 year-old Australian winning the title on Sunday, having disposed of world number one and defending champion Daniil Medvedev with a superb display of controlled aggression in the fourth round.
Yet, as at Wimbledon, Kyrgios is also suggesting that, in the event of him lifting the trophy, he might struggle to find the ambition to carry on.
Nick Kyrgios has his eyes on the big prize after a stunning victory over Daniil Medvedev
Defending champion Medvedev (L) will cede his world No 1 ranking after losing on Arthur Ashe
‘If I win a Grand Slam, I don’t know how much motivation I’d have afterwards because it’s extremely hard to do,’ he said after his four-set victory. ‘Three more matches potentially, then we never have to play tennis again.’
The latter comment was knowingly delivered with a smile, and it is worth remembering that tennis players talking about packing it in can prove about as reliable as boxers.
Should all this eventuate – which it probably will not – then it would be a crying shame because Kyrgios is finally coming into something like serene bloom, after the years of erratic behaviour.
He has to be the favourite to reach the final from his half of the draw, which sees him now play 27th seed Karen Khachanov, with the victor then tackling either Matteo Berrettini or Casper Ruud.
Kyrgios wants to make the months away from Australia count by finally living up to his talent
The Kyrgios serve is again proving a formidable weapon. He leads the tournament ace table, by a considerable margin, on 85.
As ever the question is whether he can now handle the pressure, at the end of a road trip that has seen him away the whole of the northern hemisphere summer.
‘I just feel like I’m playing for a lot more than myself. I’ve just got a lot of support, and on the flip side I got a lot of people doubting me and trying to bring me down all the time as well. I’ve been in some really tough situations mentally, and in some really scary places.
‘I’ve been away from home now for four months. My whole team has. We don’t get to see our family like other tennis players do the majority of time.
‘I’m trying to make it worthwhile, trying to make it a memorable ride for all of us. Hopefully we can get it done, go back home and really celebrate.
Kyrgios is a serious title contender if he can maintain the form he showed under the lights
‘I feel like I just mentally struggled so hard for like the first six, seven years of my career. I had great results, shocking results, trying really hard, then tanking.
‘I honestly didn’t know how to deal with any of it. It was hard. I beat myself up way too hard. I’m finally able to show it now, I feel like I’ve really been working. I’ve just got a lot of motivation at the moment.’
Medvedev’s take on his defeat was notable, and ominous for the coming opponents of Kyrgios: ‘I’ve played Novak, Rafa. They play amazing. Nick tonight played kind of their level, in my opinion. He has a little bit different game because he’s not like a grinder in a way.’
Having led 4-1, Kyrgios slammed his racket to the court as Medvedev levelled at 5-5
Medvedev revealed he was not feeling well, blaming the United States’ love of air conditioning