Kyrgios feels hurt by Australia and prefers the money: “I don’t need to play Davis Cup”
Riyadh – Money. Few tennis players dare to talk about money and accept that taking a wad of cash sometimes is their main motivation.
The dunes are beautiful in Riyadh, the people are welcoming and the food is fantastic. That’s what Nick Kyrgios says about the host city of the Diriyah Tennis Cup, an exhibition tournament played in the Saudi Arabian capital by 12 players, including half of the top 10. The Australian also comments that it is one of the best destinations he has been to in the entire world.
But money is the most important thing and that word is the first that comes out of his mouth when he is asked what he put in the balance when deciding between the Davis Cup finals and the pre-season tournament.
Then comes a longer explanation of why he didn’t represent Australia in Malaga, starting with the tight schedule.
“After I played Turin (doubles with Thanassi Kokkinakis in the ATP Finales) I had to go back home and have a nice time with my family. My mum is sick at the moment. I had to do what was best for me, not always what is best for the team, for the country. It was an easy decision,” confess the Wimbledon finalist.
– Lleyton Hewitt and Alex De Miñaur tried to convince him, but it didn’t go well. What did he give them for an answer?
“Exactly the same,” he adds.
There he takes the opportunity to unload with a reason brought more from the background: “For me, Australia hasn’t always embraced me as a tennis player and it’s hard for me to go out there and play Davis Cup for my country proudly. After all the negative things that have been said about me, how much stress they have put over me and my family, everything. It’s funny that one day they want me to play for the team and the next day they don’t, so I don’t get the pick and choose. I made my decisions.”
The special spice that they took away from the Davis Cup is what also turns off the Australian’s interest. Playing home and away. Travelling to Spain for three days and facing Nadal, Alcaraz and company as the ideal scenario. Hosting France’s starting line-up in Australia. But going to Malaga in the new format?: “All the teams together in Spain doesn’t make any sense to me. That’s not Davis Cup. It’s a tournament I don’t need to play.”
Final sprint to retirement
At 30, he already wants to be a former professional tennis player. He has two and a half years left: “If I have a couple of seasons like this one, I’ll say goodbye I’ve already worked too much”. Kyrgios wants to play videogames.
And in ten years he imagines himself with a big family with four or five children and smoking a big spliff (tobacco and marijuana cigarrette) in the Bahamas, where he bought a home. His girlfriend Costeen Hatzi’s eyes pop out. They would have to start campaigning very soon to reach the goal: one child every two years, unless he adopts.
For her, the Australian says, he will return to play Roland Garros in 2023: “My girlfriend hasn’t seen Paris, so why not. Pick up some more money, not too bad”. He also has the Bercy tournament as an excuse and thus avoids the clay he says he hates so much, but there is no doubt that the weather is better in May in the French capital.
What if Hatzi would like to see cities like Buenos Aires or Rio de Janeiro?
“Aren’t those tournaments played during the hard court season? No, I won’t play those events. It’s insane having clay court events while we are on a hard court season. There are way too many tournaments on clay. There are people in the top 100 that I don’t even know their face, their name, because they only play in clay. That’s crazy”.
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