Kyrgios hungry for US Open charge
Confident and hungry, Australian No.1 Nick Kyrgios is looking to make a statement at the year’s final Grand Slam event.
Nick Kyrgios is big in the Big Apple and Australia’s great hope is making no secret of his big US Open intentions either.
“People should know me well enough now to know I don’t put a limit on what I’m doing or set a specific target or goal,” Kyrgios told AAP ahead of his first-round clash on Tuesday with Slovenian-born British No.2 Aljaz Bedene.
“I’m going in confident, hungry and ready for a good, deep run.”
Kyrgios’s optimism is not unfounded.
The two-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist has arrived at Flushing Meadows with a career-high world ranking of 16th following a two-title haul already in 2016, including success on American hard courts in Atlanta this month.
Feted in a 5000-word feature article in the New York Times magazine, which flashed a portrait of the 21-year-old on the cover under the headline: The Electric, Infuriating Nick Kyrgios, the article dubbed him the most entertaining player tennis has seen since John McEnroe.
“And quite possibly the most gifted since Roger Federer,” it said.
Author Michael Steinberger also quoted the temperamental talent as claiming he only planned on playing tennis until 27.
“That’s the absolute max,” Kyrgios reportedly said.
That leaves Kyrgios with five and a half years to leave his mark on the sport before he apparently pursues a professional basketball career.
Many, including former Australian Davis Cup captain Wally Masur, are tipping Kyrgios to make a statement in New York over the coming fortnight.
Seeded 14th, Kyrgios is eight months older than when Lleyton Hewitt, now his mentor and Davis Cup captain, netted his maiden Grand Slam crown at Flushing Meadows with a stunning straight-sets final triumph over Pete Sampras in 2001.
Kyrgios is adamant he’s ready to break through too in New York, on a surface he feels is tailor made to his explosive game.
“I had a good session on the new Grandstand (court) with Jack Sock and the court was pretty high-bouncing but fast, if that makes sense,” he said.
“It’s great conditions for holding serve, which is going to make me tough to beat.”
Kyrgios is among six Australians in first-round action on day two – the others are Bernard Tomic, John Millman, Sam Stosur, Daria Gavrilova and Ellen Perez.