Nick Kyrgios is leaving Wimbledon with his first piece of grand slam silverware — as well as the chip he carries around on his shoulder.
Nick Kyrgios has delivered a message to his haters as he leaves Wimbledon following his best ever run at a grand slam.
The Aussie was at his brilliant best on the court as he surged towards a maiden major final, all the while producing the usual antics that make him the most polarising figure in tennis.
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He had blow-ups with umpires, was called a “bully” by opponents and accused “drunk” fans of messing with him during an eventful two weeks at the All England Club, before losing Monday’s (AEST) final to Novak Djokovic in four sets.
Kyrgios, who has at times blamed the media for his portrayal as the bad boy of professional tennis, took to Instagram on Tuesday morning and issued a blunt message to critics.
A basketball lover, Kyrgios shared a clip of NBA star Kevin Durant from 2019 in which he says: “I just don’t trust none of y’all.
“Every time I say something it gets twisted up and thrown up and so many different publications tried to tear me down with my words that I say.
“So when I don’t say nothing, it’s a problem.
“I just wanna play ball. I wanna go to the gym and go home.”
In the past, we’ve seen both sides of how the negative headlines affect Kyrgios. At times, he’s complained he’s treated unfairly while other times, he says he doesn’t care what his critics say.
He was taking the latter approach at Wimbledon as he shrugged off the barbs that follow him at every tournament.
“Honestly, I don’t care,” Kyrgios said of his haters last week. “I just smile. It’s so funny. I joke around with my team about it so much. It’s hilarious.
“I almost just wake up and read things, and I just laugh. And I never forget things people say, whether it was three, four years ago, things that just stick with me.
“I have a massive chip on my shoulder. I sit here now … and I just know there’s so many people that are so upset.”
That “chip” on his shoulder was evident during a post-match press conference after the loss to Djokovic, when he took aim at a reporter’s question about whether “composure” is a part of his game he would look to work on, having witnessed first hand how the Serbian superstar goes about his business in big matches.
Kyrgios answered the question honestly — a trait which he showed throughout an impressive, expansive appearance in front of the world’s press — and spoke openly about other areas of his game that need work.
The Canberran finished by giving the journalist a clip, saying: “I feel like that (question) was a bit of a dig. But I feel like everyone in the draw can improve on something.”
The British crowds lapped up Kyrgios over the past fortnight, showing him plenty of love even when the headlines he generated weren’t always so kind. The spectators on Centre Court were boisterous in their support during Monday’s final and gave him a rousing reception when he spoke after the defeat.
But Kyrgios wasn’t feeling that same love from the Aussie tennis community. Pat Cash, who won Wimbledon in 1987, was particularly scathing of Kyrgios this month and the 27-year-old let his true feelings be known about the level of support he receives.
“The greats of Australian tennis, they haven’t always been the nicest to me, personally,” Kyrgios said at a pre-final press conference.
“They haven’t always been supportive – and they haven’t been supportive these two weeks. So it’s hard for me to read things they say about me.
“For example when I saw Ash Barty in the final for Australia I was nothing but happy. I would never say a bad word about an Australian making a final. That’s just me.
“The only great that’s ever been supportive of me the whole time has been Lleyton Hewitt.
“He’s our Davis Cup captain and he knows that I kind of do my own thing. I’m definitely the outcast of the Australian players. He knows to keep his distance and let me do me. He sends me a message now and then, ‘keep going’, literally that’s it, just ‘well done, keep going’.”
Cash accused Kyrgios of cheating, abuse and aggressive behaviour during his third-round clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Aussie great believed his comments were “fair and reasonable” but Kyrgios did not.
“It’s pretty sad because I don’t get any support from any of the other Australian tennis players, the male side,” he said.
“Not the players, I mean the past greats. It’s weird they just have like a sick obsession with tearing me down for some reason.
“Whether they don’t like me or they’re afraid … I don’t know what it is. But it sucks because if roles were reversed and I saw de Minaur in the final, or Jordan Thompson or Thanasi, I’d be pumped, I’d be stoked. I’d be having a pint watching going nuts.
“So I don’t know – shout out to Lleyton I guess.”