Nick Kyrgios wants you to know that he does give a single ‘F’ about the wins, losses, rankings, titles in tennis, he’s just out to have some fun, the Australian told the press Sunday in Washington where he’s the defending champion.
Now 26, the Australian is coming off a pandemic in which he never left Australia until this past Wimbledon. And all that time away from the game hasn’t really changed his outlook much.
“I just feel like I’m just really at my own pace,” Kyrgios said. “I feel like I’m not really competing with anyone. I don’t feel like I’m trying to climb up the rankings or win any tournaments. I’m kind of doing it my own way, taking it day by day.
“I can put on a show on the practice courts on my day off, you know what I mean? I can come here and make all the fans’ day by getting them involved.
“I definitely feel like at the start of my career, I was not worrying, but obviously I had coaches, people telling me, We need to hit this kind of ranking point, try this, do this.
“Now, I don’t honestly give a single ‘F’. I do whatever I want to do, float around, play some tournaments, just have some fun with it.”
After being away from the game for so long, he seems happy to be back.
“The positive is, I don’t take any tournament for granted,” Kyrgios said. “I don’t take any match for granted any more. Every time I’m at an event, at a special one like this, I don’t take any day for granted. I love being around it. I try and soak in as much as I can. Just the practice, being around the courts, being at the highest level, I don’t take that for granted.”
But at heart, Kyrgios just wants to have fun. Fun for himself and for his fans.
“I feel like I’m kind of playing for a lot of people who can relate to me,” he added. “I feel like when I was young, I didn’t really have goals to win slams or anything like that. I mean, I didn’t love the sport.
“Obviously became kind of good, I guess. Then I beat all the top players, won some titles. Feel like I’ve been pretty iconic in the sport in the sense of doing it my own way, bridging the gap between I think basketball and tennis is there now. I’ve accomplished a lot.
“I enjoy now playing just for fun. I really do enjoy just being around fans, just talking with them, getting to know what they do. It was just, like, some touching moments that I remember, my favorite parts of my career, just being with fans, giving them some hope.”
At some point though, he’ll have to hope tournament give him wildcards with his ranking going the wrong direction. Kyrgios reached a career-high No. 13 at the end of 2016. Now he’s down to No. 77 and with half of his 2019 Washington points on the line, he’ll find himself struggling to get into tournaments.
But with the Australian, anything can happen.
“When I come here and I play, I feel vibes,” Kyrgios said of D.C. “Like every time I’m at a tournament, I feel like it could be my last time I’m ever going to be here.
“It’s good to be back obviously, especially at these tournaments where I’m extremely comfortable and there’s a lot of crowd. I think they’re definitely hoping I do well.”
Kyrgios will be back tonight to face Mackenzie McDonald in the first round.
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