Kyrgios praised the ‘Big Three’ of men’s tennis for turning down the noise and persistently winning Grand Slams
In his first major final, Kyrgios took a deserved lead at Wimbledon, but the Australian eventually succumbed to a composed performance from Djokovic, who clinched his seventh title at SW19 with a 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 (3) win .
WIMBLEDON – Nick Kyrgios believes he would have lost motivation had he won Wimbledon on Sunday and praised Novak Djokovic – as well as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – for repeatedly appearing in the glaring Grand Slam spotlight.
When asked about his motivation after an eventful two weeks, Kyrgios said: “I feel like if I had won today, I would have struggled with my motivation. I’ve been told my whole life that winning Wimbledon is the ultimate achievement.
“It took me 10 years in my career to finally get to the point of playing a Grand Slam and failing.
“If I had won that and come back for other tournaments like 250s, I would have really struggled. I’ve kind of reached the pinnacle of what you can achieve in tennis.
“You look at what Novak did to some other opponents and it’s not a good feeling, but I’m right about that. I don’t stand behind the eight at all. I played a Slam final against one of the greatest of all time and was there.”
Kyrgios has rarely been away from the headlines at Wimbledon. There had been spitting, swearing and questioning of senior judges’ views on his way to the final, all while defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in one of the most outstanding matches, while also sending a tournament-high 120 aces en route to the final.
Talk about my tennis, Kyrgios had urged us after his second-round win, although that wasn’t always possible – particularly when he was summoned to appear in court next month on charges of assault on his ex-girlfriend Chiara Passari .
Kyrgios has vowed to tell his own version of events on the matter and following the defeat to Djokovic he claimed a weight had been lifted after his longest stint at a Slam.
“I feel like the weight just falls off my shoulders,” he added. “I feel like there is so much weight on my shoulders all the time when I go out on the tennis court, now it’s just released and I feel great. That’s the best I’ve felt in two weeks.”
After the match, Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic praised Kyrgios as a “tennis genius”, adding: “You can’t prepare a match against Nick Kyrgios. He doesn’t know what he’s going to play next in the point. When someone like Nick Kyrgios serves, I think he’s the best server in the game by far.”
However, Djokovic still found a way, leaving Kyrgios in awe of the constant pressure men’s tennis ‘Big Three’ have faced throughout their glittering careers.
“It takes a damn strong athlete, mentally and physically, to win any of those things,” Kyrgios said. “I think eight people have won this title since I was born. It shows one thing physically, but mentally it’s a different beast.
“Coming back here two weeks in a row. None of the people in this room understand. It’s just different. Like social media, the things that you have to deal with, it hasn’t been easy for me the last three, four days to just tune out everything on socials and just find the balance.
“It’s so easy to access all of these things. I really tried to consciously focus on the task at hand.
“I think former tennis players don’t understand that either, like the older guys. They don’t understand how much negativity and opinions are being thrown at you. It’s really hard to deal with all of this.
“I recommend Federer, Djokovic and Nadal. These guys must be crazy about what they’re dealing with. And that, to me, is the mark of a champion. They deal with that and then to be able to perform is incredible.”
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