When asked who the best grass player in the world is, Nick Kyrgios didn’t hesitate.
Nick Kyrgios has been named the world’s best grass player ahead of Wimbledon next month.
Speaking at a promotional event for the world No. 1 NBA in Sydney. The 78-year-old was asked who he thinks is the best tennis player in the world heading to the prestigious Grand Slam.
“I mean, on the grass, I would say me,” he said The Sydney Morning Herald.
Those are big words from the Australian, who hasn’t made it past the third round of the competition since 2016.
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His best run at Wimbledon was a quarter-final in 2014 when Kyrgios, then just 19, shocked the tennis world by ousting Rafael Nadal in the round of 16, before crashing out against Milos Raonic.
Kyrgios looked to be on fire at last year’s event but was forced to retire in his third-round match with an abdominal injury.
In 2021, Kyrgios was criticized for missing part of the Covid-affected ATP Tour and calling himself a “part-time player”, but insisted his injury at Wimbledon was only “bad luck”.
However, Kyrgios’ recent results back up the confident rhetoric, with a first doubles title at the Australian Open alongside his compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis and a quarter-final in Indian Wells underline an impressive start to the 2022 season.
“Something about this year has just been different,” Kyrgios said. Today host Karl Stefanovic last month.
“I’ve played five or six events and I’ve played pretty well in almost every game I’ve played and I’ve beaten a lot of the best players in the world this year.
“I guess it’s more of a resurgence year, just going out there and showing people that I don’t have to go out there and play all the time, (that) I can still be at the top of the game.
“I just have fun and do it my way.”
The 27-year-old also shared a new sense of perspective, expressing an awareness of his role as both artist and role model.
“I play for a lot of people. I feel like I’m very close,” he said.
“A lot of kids and people look up to me when I play. If someone like me can go that far and achieve what I’ve achieved, I think that gives them a lot of hope.
“Obviously I’m 27 now so I have to provide some money, but it’s just a lot of fun; going around the tennis, going around the world, it’s a pretty cool lifestyle. I want to soak it up while I can.
Kyrgios indicated he would continue to play doubles with Kokkinakis, reflecting that he felt their Open win “puts (Kokkinakis) back on the map and hopefully he can continue playing after that.”
Kyrgios will miss the French Open, which begins later this month, in order to spend time in his new home in Sydney with his partner, before kicking off what is sure to be a highly anticipated Wimbledon tilt.