Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios is appalled with not seeing any support for him from his country’s former players in his run to the Wimbledon final against 20-time Grand Slam singles champion Novak Djokovic.
The mercurial 27-year-old Kyrgios made it to his maiden Grand Slam final after his semifinal opponent, Spanish stalwart Rafael Nadal withdrew from the grass-court major due to an abdominal injury.
The world No. 40, whose best showing in a major before his Wimbledon success was reaching the 2015 Australian Open quarterfinal, also indicated he is being made to feel like an outcast.
“As for the greats of Australian tennis, they haven’t always been the nicest to me personally,” Kyrgios was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald, a day before his title clash against the Serbian ace.
“They haven’t always been supportive. They haven’t been supportive these two weeks. So it’s hard for me to kind of read things that they say about me. It’s pretty sad because I don’t get any support from any of the other Australian tennis players, the male side,” he said, adding that 2002 Wimbledon singles champion and Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt was an exception.
Former Australian player and 1987 Wimbledon singles champion, Pat Cash has been critical of Kyrgios’ on-court behaviour at SW19, and has called on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) to take action against the player.
“Kyrgios has taken tennis to the lowest level I can see in terms of gambling, cheating, manipulation, abuse and aggressive behaviour in front of chair umpires and line judges. Something has to be done about it. He has turned some matches into a circus and this cannot be tolerated,” Cash commented on the BBC.
Stefanos Tsitsipas had accused Kyrgios of being a bully and possessing an “evil side” in his post-match press conference after the Greek lost his high-intensity third-round match at Wimbledon.
Kyrgios accused former players of having a “sick obsession” to run him down.
“Not the (current) players, but like the past greats. It’s weird they just have like a sick obsession with tearing me down for some reason. I don’t know what it is. But it sucks because if it was roles reversed, if I saw (Australian players Alex) de Minaur in a final, or if I saw Jordan Thompson or Thanasi (Kokkinakis) I’d be pumped. I’d be stoked. I’d be having a pint watching going nuts,” said Kyrgios.