Nick Kyrgios Says ‘Cringeworthy’ Djokovic Will Never Be As Great As Federer, Blasts Nadal - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Nick Kyrgios Says ‘Cringeworthy’ Djokovic Will Never Be As Great As Federer, Blasts Nadal

The Australian has made a series of astonishing remarks about some of the biggest players in men’s tennis.

Published

on

Nick Kyrgios (image via Chryslène Caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

World No.36 Nick Kyrgios is once again embroiled in controversy following an extraordinary interview with the No Challenges remaining podcast.

 

Kyrgios, who is a two-time grand slam quarter-finalist, criticised a series of his fellow players on the tour during a 50-minute conversation with Ben Rothenberg from The New York Times. The most prominent of those he hit out at was world No.1 Novak Djokovic. Who he has a 2-0 head-to-head record against on the tour.

The Australian has said that he ‘can’t stand’ Djokovic and his post-match celebration is ‘cringeworthy.’ Although he admits that the Serbian could one day overtake Roger Federer in terms of the most grand slam titles won, Kyrgios said Djokovic would never be as ‘great’ as him.

‘I just feel like he’s got a sick obsession with wanting to be liked,’ Kyrgios commented about Djokovic.
‘He just wants to be Federer. I feel he wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him. This celebration thing is so cringeworthy.
‘He’s unbelievable, a champion of the sport, one of the greatest we will ever see. I think he will get the Grand Slam count and overtake Federer.
‘[But] we’re talking about a guy who pulled out of the Australian Open one year because it was too hot. No matter how many Grand Slams he wins, he will never be the greatest to me.
‘I’ve played him twice and I’m sorry but if you cannot beat me, you cannot be the greatest of all time. Look at how much I train and put in… it’s zero compared to him.”

Speaking about other members of the Big Four, Kyrgios praised their achievements on the court. The group consists of Djokovic, Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. Between them, they have won 55 grand slam titles. Outside of the group, the last person to top the ATP rankings was Andy Roddick back in 2004.

“For me Federer will always be the greatest of all time. What Rafa has done has been pretty scary too.‘ Kyrgios stated.
“But Novak just riles me the wrong way. He always says what he thinks he needs to say rather than his actual opinion.
‘The celebration just kills me. Every time it does… it kills me. If I play him and beat him again, I’m doing the celebration in front of him [laughing]… that would be hilarious!’

Praise for Murray

Embed from Getty Images

Speaking most specifically about Murray, Kyrgios believes the Brit has more talent than the current world No.1. Murray hasn’t played since January due to an hip injury and it remains to be seen if and when he will return to the tour. He has undergone hip resurfacing surgery. Murray has been gradually returning to training in recent weeks.

‘I’m sad [about Murray’s injury problems]. Genuinely sad. I think his record against Djokovic is embarrassing.” He said.
‘I feel he’s so much better than Novak, I’ve played them both. I think Andy returns better, his serve is better. He should have won so many more Grand Slams.
‘Against Murray you can’t slice, he knows that’s garbage. But I feel Djokovic doesn’t really know what to do [to that]. ‘If I was Murray’s coach he would have won more Grand Slams for sure!’

It is not the first time the 24-year-old have said comments similar to these. In January he wrote a special tribute to his fellow player in an article for The Guardian. Praising Murray for the support he has received. In the piece he said he once told Murray ‘Dude, you’re so much better than Djokovic, you should have a way better career.’

‘Salty’ Nadal

Embed from Getty Images

Speaking about 11-time French Open champion Nadal, the Australian has described him as a bad loser. Earlier this year, Nadal said Kyrgios ‘lacks respect’ following his loss to him at the Mexican Open. Describing him as a ‘dangerous player who lacks consistency.’ Shortly after those comments, Nadal said his words have been misinterpreted.’

“He’s my polar opposite, like literally my polar opposite. And he’s super salty.” Kyrgios said of the world No.2.
“Every time I’ve beaten him … when he wins, it’s fine. He won’t say anything bad, he’ll credit the opponent, ‘He was a great player’.
“But as soon as I beat him, it’s just like, ‘He has no respect for me, my fans and no respect to the game’.
“And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? I literally played this way when I beat you the other previous times and nothing changed … When you beat me in Rome here a couple of years ago, nothing changed; I was the same person’.
“It’s not a good look for you, I feel. And then Uncle Toni (Nadal) came out saying, ‘He lacks education’. I’m like, ‘Bra, I did 12 years at school, you idiot. I’m very educated. I understand that you’re upset I beat your family again’.”

Kyrgios also expressed frustration about how he is treated on the tour by fans. The former top 20 player has been embroiled in controversy throughout his career with various fines and allegations of tanking. At one point he was even briefly suspended from the ATP Tour for unsportsmanlike conduct during the 2016 Shanghai Masters.

“When I say something after I play him, it’s not going to get noticed as much. But when he says something, it’s like that’s the only thing that matters. They’re like, ‘Oh yeah, he must be right. This guy must lack education, he must lack respect’.” He said.
“And you’re asking me why I do things and why I go back at fans in the crowd. And that’s why. These guys show me no respect. None. So why would I show you respect? For instance, when I’m taking matches, I don’t care that you paid for tickets. You guys treat me like crap anyway. Rafa gets me vexed, as well.”

The most arrogant person ever

Embed from Getty Images

Another player to feel the wrath of Kyrgios’ verbal attack was Spain’s Fernando Verdasco. A former top 10 player who has won seven ATP titles during his career. The two engaged in a twitter spat last year during the Miami Open. Kyrgios described him as the ‘saltiest dude’ during that exchange. The comment was then deleted on Twitter, which Verdasco criticised by saying ‘’when you have the courage to put a tweet insulting another player you need to have the same to don’t delete it.’

“Verdasco drives me nuts, man. That guy … I don’t even want to talk about it,” Kyrgios said.
“It gets me so vexed, I’m like angry now that I just hear that name. He’s the most arrogant person ever.
“He doesn’t say hello, he thinks he’s so good, he thinks he’s God’s gift. Dude, your backhand’s pretty average and let’s be honest, you hit a ball over a net.
“Guy’s like that, they drive me insane. There’s no humility there, there’s no perspective. It’s just like, ‘I’m here, I’m so cool, I’m unbelievable because I hit a ball over the net. Do this for me, do this for me, I won’t say hello to you, I’m too important’.
“Guys like that. See how angry I’m getting? It kills me. He just rubs me the wrong way.”

On the tour, Kyrgios has won both of his meetings against the Spaniard. Although, they havn’t played each other since the 2016 Atlanta Open.

Kyrgios is currently playing at the Italian Open this week. He will take on Norway’s Casper Ruud in the second round. Should he reach the quarter-finals, he may play top seed Djokovic.

ATP

REPORT: ATP To Hold Zoom Meeting With Players Concerning Future Of 2020 Season

Details of a confidential meeting concerning the governing body of men’s tennis have been published by a leading Spanish newspaper.

Published

on

In just over a week’s time the likes of Roger Federer and Co will know for certain what the future of the 2020 season will look like.

 

Spain’s top sporting newspaper Marca have confirmed that player’s have been sent emails from the ATP Tour inviting them to attend a zoom meeting. It is set to be held on Wednesday June 10th at 16:00 CET where they will be discussing the future plans of the men’s Tour. It is unclear how the WTA is addressing the situation or if they will take a similar approach.

All professional tennis tournaments have been either suspended or cancelled since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At present the Tour is suspended up until July 31st, but it is unclear as to what will occur beyond that date. Both the US Open and French Open are hoping to hold their tournaments later this season.

There has been no official word for the ATP to confirm the upcoming meeting, however it has emerged that it was meant to be kept confidential. Something that is no longer possible due to the Marca article.

The most significant aspect regarding the upcoming call will be surrounding the North American Tour and what events will or will not take place. For example the Rogers Cup in Canada has already cancelled their women’s event, but they are still hoping to stage the Men’s equivalent. There are also questions over the future of tournaments in Cincinnati, which is a Masters 1000 event, and the Citi Open in Washington.

“The chance of having 7,500 people a night at the beginning of August is extraordinarily low,” Citi Open tournament director Mark Ein told Tennisnow.com last month. “We haven’t ruled anything out at this point, but the chance of being able to pack a stadium, if you’re being realistic, is extremely low.
“Really we’re focused on scenarios where our hope would be that we can play it with some number of fans. We’re really thinking of hundreds to a thousand [fans].”

The New York Times has reported that the United States Tennis Association is considering moving the Washington event to the same venue of the US Open. Minimising the amount of travel that player’s would be required to do. It is understood that both the ATP and WTA are considering that proposal.

Another factor that will likely be discussed will be how different the Tour may look. There have been talks about potentially staging events behind closed doors, including the US Open, due to the ongoing pandemic. Furthermore, a more pressing matter will be travel requirements and if player’s will be exempt from going through quarantine when entering a new country.

In regards to coaches, it has been reported that they have been invited to attend a separate zoom meeting on June 18th. Torben Beltz, who is the coach of women’s player Donna Vekic, recently disclosed some of the approaches being considered by the WTA. Speaking to the Advantage Podcast, Beltz said the ideas include limiting players to only having one person travelling with them. It is still unconfirmed if this would occur or if the ATP would consider a similar approach.

ATP Tour chief Andrea Gaudenzi had previously said on May 11th that yesterday (June 1st) would be the deadline for making a decision regarding playing tournaments in August. However, they are yet to issue any statement concerning their plans.

Continue Reading

ATP

Rafael Nadal Commits To The French Open On One Condition

The king of clay looks ahead to Roland Garros with both optimism and caution.

Published

on

World No.2 Rafael Nadal has cautiously confirmed that he will head to the French open later this year to defend his title once again.

 

Nadal, who has won the clay-court major a record 12 times, will have to wait until September to play at Roland Garros due to the ongoing suspension of the Tour due to COVID-19. Officials originally planned to host the event between the end of May and June. Instead, it is currently scheduled to get underway on September 27th with final plans concerning the tournament yet to be finalized.

Speaking to French radio over the weekend Nadal has insisted that he will only play at the event as long as it is safe to do so and the conditions are the same for all players. It is still unclear as to how many fans will be able to attend the event with French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli saying he wanted ‘as many as possible.’ However, the final decision will be up to the government.

“I do not see the future from a professional point of view, but from a medical and health point of view,” the Spaniard said.
“As for Roland Garros, if it is possible to play in optimal conditions and in total safety, if everyone can play, if we are all together, yes, I will be there. But today we have to take precautions and be responsible with the right decisions to guarantee the safety and health of everyone in tennis.”

Nadal faces a potentially critical period later this year should the US Open get underway in September ahead of the French open as planned. As the defending champion at both of those events, he will be tasked with defending a total of 4000 points within five weeks. A far from ideal scenario for anybody.

Although it could be expected that if push comes to shove, Nadal would most likely favor the French Open over the other given his emphatic record. In Roland Garros, he has only ever been defeated twice. Losing to Sweden’s Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2015. Overall he has a win-loss record of 93-2 at the event.

It is currently unclear as to when the Tour will get going again with all professional tournaments either suspended or canceled until at least July 31st. When play resumes, one possibility is that the action could take place behind closed doors to follow suit to other sports. Although Nadal admits that the situation will be less than ideal for him.

“It is possible. Football is being played behind closed doors. But if you ask me if I like it, the answer is no. Nothing can replace the presence of the public and the energy it generates.” He stated.

On the upside, Nadal is slowly returning to practice thanks to relaxation in lockdown rules in his native Spain. He aims to be fully ready for the resumption of the tour whenever that will occur.

“I feel good. Like the rest, I have not been able to leave the house in two months. Luckily, I had weight training machines at home to train and keep myself physically fit,” Nadal commented on his current fitness routine.
“Little by little I have resumed training several days a week, but not all seven. It has been a gradual and very slow recovery that we have done with care and caution. The objective is to be ready for the day when we return to play tennis, but we still don’t know that. “

Nadal started 2020 with a win-loss record of 13-3 before the Tour suspension.

Continue Reading

ATP

French Tennis Star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Shares His Experiences With Racism

The grand slam finalist opens up about what it for like being the only ‘half-breed’ in his school as well as other problems he has experianced.

Published

on

Former top 10 player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has become the latest sporting figure to speak out about his personal struggles with racism in the wake of mass protests gripping America.

 

Dozens of cities in the north American country have been placed under overnight curfews following violent demonstrations that have resulted in various injuries and looting. The outcry started when an unarmed black man called George Floyd died whilst being arrested. Video footage showed that a police officer was leaning on his neck which resulted in him dying from asphyxia, according to a private post-mortem paid by his family.

The incident has sent shockwaves throughout the world with various top names speaking out against the use of disappropriate force against minority groups. Speaking about the situation, Tsonga said that racism is a problem everywhere before sharing some of his own personal experiences.

“This type of behaviour that we see frequently in the United States, but that’s on another scale, is repeated continuously throughout the world, is unbearable for me,” he told radio station France Info.
“Such an event removes the consciences of everything and shows how necessary a change is.’
“The non-acceptance of the difference and racism, as well as other issues, such as sexuality, religion or sexual orientation, continue to be used as an excuse to commit atrocities.”

Growing up the 35-year-old said he was singled out as a youngster for being a half cast. His mother is white and father is black. The problems he encountered took place both during and outside of school. Tsonga was born in the French town of Le Mans, which is famous for its annual 24-hour Motor sport race.

“Since I was a child I have had to regularly experience racial discrimination and inappropriate comments,” he said.
“I was the only half-breed in my elementary school, so you can imagine what was happening.’
“All of them were nicknames, insults, I had to bear that when I was a teenager I was continually stopped on the street asking for my papers, people who met me covered their bag as if they was afraid I was going to steal from them and they wouldn’t even let me pass in some places when I went with my friends.”

Whilst nowadays France has grown to be a much more tolerant country like many others, incidents such as the one involving Floyd proves that there is still much more needed to be done. As for Tsonga, he hopes his son Sugar, who was born in 2017, will not go through the same as him.

“There are still a lot of people who make offensive comments without realizing it because discrimination is so ingrained that for many it is not even so. But there are words that can hurt a lot. I have had a hard time finding my place and my identity; I just hope that my son doesn’t feel like a stranger wherever you go,” he concluded.

Tsonga is the last Frenchman to contest a grand slam final at the 2008 Australian Open. So far in his career he has won 18 ATP titles and peaked at a ranking high of fifth back in 2012.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending