Controversial Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios has claimed he’ll hang up the racket for 2019 if he takes out the top spot in the upcoming Australian Open.
The 23-year-old, who is known for his ‘bad boy’ behaviour, told media ahead of the Brisbane International, that he is “sick of travelling” and needs some time to recuperate.
“If I was going to win the Aus Open or something I probably wouldn’t play for the rest of the year,” he admitted to a reporter when asked about his busy schedule for the year ahead.
“I play enough tennis during the year, I’m sick of it by the time I get home. The last thing I want to do is go out there and hit more balls.
Kyrgios said he is looking forward to the next month in his home country and is feeling better than ever after a busy year travelling the globe.
“I was away for five and half months, I don’t ever want to do that again,” he added. “I am going to play a very light schedule this year.”
The tennis star, who is regarded as a ‘tantrum thrower’ due to his on-camera antics, said he hasn’t been able to prepare much for the upcoming tournaments due to injuries and a recent spider bite.
Kyrgios admitted he would “probably be rusty” but it “doesn’t matter”.
“I didn’t take it (bite) seriously. I just felt an irritation on my foot the day before Christmas,” he explained. “I just woke up on Christmas day and my foot was really swollen and I just been in hospital the last couple of days on antibiotics… I think I’ll be okay.
“It’s definitely impacted my preparation, I haven’t been able to step on the court the last couple of days or do anything really. It’s getting better.”
Just months ago Kyrgios was accused of “giving up” and “tanking” his third round match at Wimbledon.
The 23-year-old suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who took home the 6-1 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 win in just 1hr 37mins. Kyrgios was looking in good form ahead of the grass court clash, but quickly descended into turmoil when Nishikori broke his serve in the first game.
Looking like he’d rather be somewhere else at some points, Kyrgios was down 5-1 in the first set when he fired off a 215kph second-serve double-fault on break point.
“He kind of gave up,” ex-British Davis Cup star Andrew Castle said on the BBC after Kyrgios surrendered the opening set in 16 minutes.
“What we’ve got here is Kyrgios sort of tanking,” another commentator added.
In his post-match press conference, Kyrgios said his nerves got the better of him and he was “pissed off” that he’d “panicked” instead of keeping a cool head.
The match wasn’t without the usual show of outbursts from the fiery player either. He was issued warning for unsportsmanlike conduct after smashing the ball into the air when conceding set point in the second, and was told by the umpire to slow down when he began to serve before the ball boys had even returned to their positions.