Controversial tennis star Nick Kyrgios has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging newly-crowned Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz to an exhibition match.
Although Kyrgios is currently sidelined due to injury, Kyrgios offered up the challenge when a fan asked him about the possibility of competing against the world No. 1 in an Instagram Q&A session.
“He is a force for sure. I would of loved to see how it would of gone down last year when I was healthy and playing lights out,” Kyrgios said.
“@carlitosalcarazz what about next year in your town we do an exhibition?”
While Kyrgios seemed confident about the on-court showdown, tennis fans were less than convinced about the pairing.
Kyrgios has never been close to playing the level of tennis Alcaraz has already shown
— Oliver Evans (@Olivercfc04) July 28, 2023
Problem is, he could easily come back to that level if he just does the basics for everything. He is literally just doing everything for money which is fine, but last year he had a fire in him. Seems like he doesn’t anymore. (Coming from a Kyrgios fan)
— mike (@abdylhekimoraz) July 28, 2023
He would have lost!
— patsy ó cualáin ???????????????? (@Folan123P) July 29, 2023
Alcaraz has experienced a meteoric rise in the tennis world recently, especially after his victory in the hard-fought Wimbledon finals against Novak Djokovic.
Alcaraz clinched a thrilling 1-6, 7-6 (6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 win over Djokovic in a gruelling four-hour, 42-minute battle, capturing his maiden Wimbledon championship and second Grand Slam trophy overall.
The 20-year-old not only denied Djokovic a record-tying eighth Wimbledon title but also prevented the Serbian legend from securing his 24th career major.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 16, 2023
While Alcaraz secured Wimbledon glory, Kyrgios was forced to the sidelines after having to withdraw due to injury.
Kyrgios made the heartbreaking announcement on Monday, July 3, leaving fans and tennis enthusiasts around the world in disbelief.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 2, 2023
The 28-year-old has been struggling with a recurring knee injury that has plagued him over the past few months.
“I’m really sad to say that I have to withdraw from Wimbledon this year,” Kyrgios wrote on Instagram at the time.
“During my comeback, I experienced some pain in my wrist during Mallorca. As a precaution I had it scanned and it came back showing a torn ligament in my wrist.
“I tried everything to be able to play and I am disappointed to say that I just didn’t have enough time to manage it before Wimbledon.
“I’ll be back and as always, I appreciate the support from all my fans.”
Concerns grew for Kyrgios’ chances of competing at Wimbledon after he was forced to withdraw from the prestigious Halle Open recently.
At the time Kyrgios expressed his disappointment at the “very unfortunate news”.