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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev reach the second round in Hamburg

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Dominic Thiem beat 2016 finalist Pablo Cuevas 6-3 7-6 (7-3) after 1 hour and 40 minutes in the first round of the Hamburg European Open to score his 24th win of the season and the 250th win of his career.

 

Thiem beat Cuevas for the fifth time in his seventh head-to-head clash against Cuevas and for the third time this year after his previous wins in Buenos Aires and at Roland Garros.

Thiem broke serve in the second game of the opening set after a lucky net cord return and hit a service winner in the ninth game to seal the first set 6-3. Both players traded breaks at the start of the start of the second set. Cuevas fended off a break point chance in the fifth game. Both players stayed neck and neck in the next game setting up a second set.

Thiem earned a mini-break at 2-1 after two mini-breaks from Cuevas. The Austrian player got a double mini-break with a backhand down the line winner on the ninth point. He closed out the match with a service winner on the next point.

“I wish that the grass court season would have been longer. I love this surface, but it was only one match unfortunately. I hope that I can do it better next year. I am back on clay for two weeks and the last two weeks of the year, so I will try to enjoy the mas much as possible”, said Thiem.

Last year’s ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev made a winning start to his campaign in his home tournament with a 6-4 6-2 victory over last week’s Bastad winner Nicolas Jarry in 71 minutes. Zverev converted four of his six break point chances and saved four of the five chances he faced. Zverev broke serve in the third game to build up a 5-2 lead, when Jarry netted a backhand.

Zverev did not convert three set points, as he was serving for the set. He dropped five consecutive points before serving out the set at 5-4. Both players went on serve in the first four games before Zverev broke at 15 in the fifth game, when Jarry netted a backhand. The German player held serve at love before earning a break to build up a 5-2 after a forehand error from Jarry. The Chilean player earned two break points in the eighth game, as Zverev was serving for the win. Zverev saved them before sealing the second set 6-2 with an ace.

Nikoloz Basilashvili beat Bolivian qualifier Hugo Dellien 6-4 6-3 after 67 minutes. This year’s Monte-Carlo champion Fabio Fognini came back from one set down to beat Julian Lenz 6-4 6-4 setting up a match against Rudolf Molleker. Former Hamburg finalist Richard Gasquet beat Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal 6-2 7-6 (7-3) setting up a match against his compatriot Jeremy Chardy. Federico Delbonis saved three match points to beat Marco Cecchinato 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rudolf Molleker knocks out two-time champion Leonardo Mayer in Hamburg

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German 18-year-old Next Gen player Rudolf Molleker knocked out 2014 and 2017 Hamburg champion Leonardo Mayer 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 after 1 hour and 39 minutes at the Hamburg European Open.

 

Molleker beat Mayer in 2017 in the Hamburg qualifying round, but Mayer got a spot in the main draw as a lucky loser and went on to win the title.

Molleker fended off all three break points in two consecutive games of the first set, before saving two set points in the tie-break. He sealed the second set with a single break.

The German teenager saved two break points in the seventh game with two service games with two service winners and one more chance in the ninth game to set up a tie-break. Mayer took the lead twice at 6-5 and 8-7, but Molleker saved both chances with two winners and sealed the tie-break on the 18th point after a double fault from Mayer.

Molleker earned an early break at the start of the second set and held his service games in the next games before sealing the win with a service winner at 5-4 to secure his spot in the round of 16.

Marton Fucsovics cruised past Phillip Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-0 dropping just 16 points on serve. Fucsovics got an early break in the fourth game to clinch the opening set 6-3. The Hungarian player broke three times in a one-sided second set and sealed the win with a service winner.

Andrey Rublev, who lost in the second round at Wimbledon and Umag, edged this year’s Munich and Houston champion Christian Garin 6-4 7-6 (7-5) after 1 hour and 39 minutes to score his second win over the Chilean player this year. Rublev broke three times to seal the opening set 6-4. The Russian player got the break back at 4-5 in the second set to set up a tie-break, which he sealed 7-5.

Jeremy Chardy came back from losing the first set to beat Jeremy Chardy 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-3 after 2 hours and 34 minutes. Paire fended off a set point at 4-5 in the opening set to clinch the tie-break 7-4. Paire got a late break in the second set, but Chardy won two games at 5-5 to force the match to the third set. Chardy went up a double break to seal the third set 6-3.

Martin Klizan converted all five break points to cruise past Daniel Altmaier 6-2 6-2.

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Nicolas Jarry Breaks New Ground To Win The Swedish Open

The 23-year-old has become the latest player to win their first ATP title in 2019.

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Nicolas Jarry (@FOXSport_Chile - Twitter)

Chilean fifth seed Nicolas Jarry has won his first ATP title at the Swedish Open after prevailing in straight sets on Sunday.

 

The world No.64 held his nerve to edge his way past Argentina’s Juan Inacio Londero 7-6(3), 6-4. Playing in only his third ATP final, Jarry dropped serve once as he blasted 10 aces and won 76% of the points behind his first serve. Becoming the first person his country to win the tournament since Luis Ayala back in 1960.

“I’m very happy to be able to have this (the title). I know it is not very easy to get the first one in anything that you do. I’m really happy.” Jarry said during the trophy presentation.
“I want to say thank you to my team. I have a big team back home and we are very united. This is for all of them and all of my family who has been there since I was born.”

Jarry achieved his career milestone without dropping a set during the entire tournament. Earlier in the week he also scored wins over Jeremy Chardy and Frederico Delbonis. Londero was the only seeded player he faced in Sweden this year. Overall, he was broken eight times in six matches played.

The 23-year-old isn’t the first member of his family to win a title on the men’s tour. His grandfather is Jaime Fillol, who is a former top 20 player that reached the quarter-finals of the 1975 US Open. During his career, Fillol claimed eight trophies and was the former president of the ATP.

“He is one of the best Chilean tennis players. He taught me the sport since I was little,” Jarry told atptour.com earlier this week. “He took me to great tournaments. I remember Wimbledon when I was 12 and I remember going to the US Open a couple of times. There used to be an ATP [tournament] in Santiago, so I was always involved in the tennis.”

The new Swedish Open champion is the second player from Chile to win a title in 2019. Christian Garin claimed his maiden title back in April at the US Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston. He then went on to win the Munich Open, which is also a clay-court event.

Jarry exits Sweden with 250 ranking points and €90,390 in prize money earnings. He will next travel to Germany to play in the Hamburg Open.

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