Australian tennis legend Nick Kygrios may soon be hanging up his racquet following his impressive performance in this year’s US Open.
After defeating World No. 1 and defending champion Daniil Medvedev, in what sports commentators have called the “best match of his career,” the 27-year-old announced to media outlets there would potentially be “three more matches” before he would “never have to play tennis again”.
Elway. Jordan. Sampras.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 5, 2022
“It’s the last biggest tournament of the year,” he said.
“We got to try and just tough it out and keep pushing each other, keep being positive. We do realise it’s next week we’re going home. But three more matches potentially, then we never have to play tennis again.
“It’s a great win. But I come off the court and I’m just almost relieved that it’s over because there’s just so much pressure every time I go out on the court, so much expectation, so much unpredictability of what I can do.”
Now, with Rafael Nadal out of the US Open draw, Kyrgios has a clear path to claiming Grand Slam glory.
But according to former US Open champion John McEnroe, despite Kygrios entering the “prime” of his career, it’s likely we’ll see him walk away from the sport if he wins at Flushing Meadows.
“Well, I’ve got some bad news for you. Ash Barty [retired after winning a major], so it’s not impossible to think that he could do that,” McEnroe told Eurosport.
“We hope he won’t do that because there’s a phrase, I think it’s worldwide – ‘better late than never’.
“That applies to Nick because he wasn’t professional for a long time, he played a lot of matches where he wasn’t giving it his all, and now you see what he’s capable of when he does. And he trains and he’s in shape and the guy’s phenomenal.”
This wouldn’t be the first time Kygrios has hinted about his early retirement. Earlier in June Kyrgios told Tennis Channel that he only sees himself in the sport for another two to three years, saying that he wanted to settle down and start a family.
Recently, Australia’s tennis bad boy has made it clear his family comes before his career having withdrawn from competing with this year’s Davis Cup team in Europe, planning instead to return to Australia to be with his sick mum.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) August 10, 2022
“I’ve been away from home, away from my mum, away from my dad. They’re not very well at the moment. So I don’t really care about no winning streak,” Kygrios said.
The Wimbledon runner-up had previously opened up about the challenges of being away from home amid his family’s health issues, saying it was “hard” not being able to be with his family.
“It’s hard being from Australia because we can’t travel back and forth. There’s a lot of things people don’t see. They only see me winning, losing, throwing a racquet, doing those things,” he said.
“They don’t really understand the challenges that I face or what people on tour face, what’s going on in their personal lives.”