Nick Kyrgios‘ press conferences or post-match interviews can never be mundane. He is an enigma, who refuses to grow up, and in recent months, he is probably playing his best tennis.
The Australian crushed world number one Daniil Medvedev’s dreams of a title defense at the US Open on Sunday with a 7-6(11) 3-6 6-3 6-2 victory to reach the quarter-finals and ensure there will be a new top-ranked player when the tournament concludes.
Kyrgios never had managed to make it past the third round of the US Open until now.
“I’m just glad I’m finally able to show New York my talent,” he said during the court interview after his win over Medvedev. “I haven’t had too many great trips here.”
In the press conference, he went one stage futher, saying he might consider retirement if he wins the US Open title.
“Three more matches potentially …then we never have to play tennis again,” he said.
Kyrgios can be an insufferable, self-absorbed punk. He is also a talented, tortured man. He is seamlessly both. The self-loather (in his drug and alcohol-fuelled phase), the overgrown toddler who never bends his middle finger at the world, a man who hates tennis.
But in the recent months, he has let his racquet does the talking.
He reached his first Grand Slam semifinal, then first Grand Slam final, at the All England Club in July, before losing to Novak Djokovic in the title match. Then Kyrgios won his first ATP title in three years at Washington in August. He followed that up with a victory over Medvedev at a hard-court tournament in Montreal soon after. He leads the ATP Tour in match wins since June.
And now, with his big serve producing 21 aces Sunday, and his go-for-broke style working perfectly against Medvedev, Kyrgios must be considered a serious championship contender at the US Open.
Kyrgios will meet No 27 seed Karen Khachanov for a spot in the semifinals on Tuesday.