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Tennis legend John McEnroe has claimed that he wouldn’t be surprised if Nick Kyrgios retired after the US Open after the Australian hinted at such.
Following a thrilling performance and victory over world number one Danill Medvedev in the round of 16 of the US Open, Kyrgios joked that he would ‘never have to play tennis again’a after the tournament.
Speaking to post-match media, Kyrgios joked: “It’s the last biggest tournament of the year.
“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.”
Whilst there was a sense of humour behind the Aussie’s comments it does mirror a similar sentiment to his previous comments after his defeat in the Wimbledon final.
The 27-year-old admitted that he may have ‘struggled with motivation’ had he defeated Novak Djokovic in the final.
He said at the time: “If I had won that, coming back for other tournaments, like 250s, I would have really struggled. I kind of achieved the greatest pinnacle of what you can achieve in tennis.”
According to McEnroe, a win at the US Open could certainly open up the possibility for Nick to leave the sport, especially considering the pressure Kyrgios has admitted he’s been under.
He told Eurosport: “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.
“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.”
The American then claimed that Kyrgios was only just entering the ‘prime’ of his career, admitting that his serving game could take him all the way to winning the US Open.
“The way Kyrgios is serving, I don’t care where you stand,” McEnroe said.
“If you stand well back, did you notice he started serving and volleying. The guy is a genius on the court, he doesn’t need a coach, he did an unbelievable job tactically.
“Medvedev was throwing a lot at him – I was saying Medvedev will play long rallies, test him physically and he’ll win most of those points. Guess what? He didn’t even win most of those points.
“When Kyrgios gets down on his opponent’s serve he lets it go a little bit, paces himself, manages himself well but he’s also a lot fitter than he has ever been.”