During something that sounded more like a therapy session than a post-match news conference, Nick Kyrgios bared his soul a bit after losing to Andy Murray at Wimbledon.
Kyrgios derided his own performance in a 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 defeat Monday against the 2013 champion.
He said, as he has before, that he doesn’t love tennis.
He acknowledged that he isn’t doing all he can to become the best player possible _ and he’s not so sure he wants to fix that.
He said he enjoys the freedom of not having a coach.
“One week, I’m pretty motivated to train and play. I’m really looking forward to getting out there,” the 21-year-old Australian said. “One week, I’ll just not do anything. I don’t really know a coach out there that would be pretty down for that one.”
Kyrgios, seeded 15th and the youngest man to make it to the fourth round at the All England Club this year, is considered one of the top up-and-coming players in tennis.
He’s immensely talented, that much is clear to everyone.
He has beaten the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
He’ll thrill a crowd one moment with a between-the-legs shot _ and rile up critics the next by saying something crude.
Entering Monday, Kyrgios’ match against his pal Murray was considered one to watch. But it fizzled pretty quickly, especially after Murray hit a cross-court forehand passing shot on the run that Kyrgios volleyed into the net to get broken and drop the opening set.
“It was a good first set. The rest of the match was pretty pathetic,” Kyrgios said.
“As soon as I lost the first set,” he added a moment later, “I just lost belief.”
Continuing that theme, Kyrgios said: “When things get tough, I’m just a little bit soft. I mean, I’ve got experience, but it ultimately comes down to just laying it all out there and competing for a long time. I didn’t do that today at all.”
He said he isn’t sure what might increase his drive to succeed.
And then, as if to provide a concrete example of where things stand for him, he explained how he got ready to face the No. 2-seeded Murray on Centre Court.
“To be honest, I woke up this morning and played computer games,” Kyrgios said. “Is that the greatest preparation? I don’t know. But it was fun.”
Murray has stood up for Kyrgios in the past, including last week, saying that the media give the guy a hard time.
After Monday’s match, Murray agreed with the notion Kyrgios needs to do a better job of staying present in matches.
“Everyone’s different. It’s about finding the right people to help you with different things. For some, it may be a coach. For some, it might be a psychologist. Sometimes it might be speaking to family about stuff,” Murray said. “There’s not one way of tackling it.”
During Kyrgios’ unusually frank back-and-forth with reporters, he said he’s considered the idea that perhaps he’s ambivalent about wholeheartedly committing himself to success at tennis.
”At times, like I’ve previously said, I don’t love the sport,” Kyrgios said. “But, you know, I don’t really know what else to do without it. I obviously like playing the game. It’s a massive part of my life.”