Nick Kyrgios is making it clear, he wants to be the No. 1 player in the world. And at the rate the young 19-year-old is improving, he might get there someday.
Yesterday, Kyrgios came back from two sets and then saved nine matchpoints to shock former semifinalist Richard Gasquet in the second round at Wimbledon.
“My goal is to become the No. 1 player in the world,” Kyrgios said when told Gasquet put him as a future Top 5 player.
“I think it’s just a long journey. There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs. I’ve just got to do all the right things, work hard, keep having great effort. Hopefully if you marry that up with your ability on the court, anything is possible.”
Being an Australian and following in the footsteps of Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Patrick Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt, Kyrgios has a lot of expectations already, but he isn’t phased.
“There’s a little bit of pressure there,” he admitted. “At the same time they obviously see that you can win Grand Slams and stuff like that. It’s all motivation. But I’m not really thinking too far ahead. I’ve got a long way to go still. I just have to stay on the ground and keep working hard.”
Kyrgios went on to explain his background.
“I’m half Greek and half Malaysian,” he said. “My mom is Malaysian. I got into tennis when I was seven. My mom brought me down to the local tennis center in Canberra, my hometown. I wasn’t keen. I didn’t want to play it. It wasn’t a bad choice. I like it now.
“I think my dad was pretty big on becoming a tennis player. I enjoyed it as well. I loved basketball as well at the same time. I think it was good to have that balance of another sport while I was progressing. At 14 I had to make a choice, and I chose tennis.”
The 6-foot-4 Kygrios began the year ranked No. 182 and then made the second round at the Australian Open. He’s now up to No. 144 and after reaching his first career Grand Slam third round he’ll move much higher. He’ll face 20-year-old Jiri Vesely for a spot in the final 16 on Saturday.
Kyrgios has won his last 10 matches including the qualifying and main draw at the Nottingham Challenger which gained him entry into his first Wimbledon.
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