Nick Kyrgios in ‘heartbreaking’ reveal ahead of return to tennis

Nick Kyrgios has opened up about the pain of losing in the quarter-finals of the US Open last month ahead of his return to the ATP tour in Japan this week.

Kyrgios hasn’t played since his loss to Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows, where he went down in five sets and missed a golden opportunity to claim his maiden grand slam.

The Aussie star was in the form of his life having made it all the way to the Wimbledon final in July, with many predicting he would go one step further at the US Open after he knocked out then-World No.1 Daniil Medvedev.

Novak Djokovic was barred from playing due to his refusal to get vaccinated, while other top rivals like Rafa Nadal made early exits.

But it wasn’t to be for Kyrgios as he went to Khachanov in a five-set thriller.

The World No.20 immediately flew home to be with his family, opting to stay in Australia until this week to spend some time with his sick mother.

He missed the recent Laver Cup as a result, which served as the final event of Roger Federer’s storied career.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the Japan Open this week, Kyrgios lifted the lid on the ‘heartbreaking’ loss at the US Open.

“I thought the US Open was a great chance – obviously, that one really, really hurt because I definitely thought that I was the favourite after I beat Medvedev,” he said.

Nick Kyrgios, pictured here in action against Karen Khachanov at the US Open.
Nick Kyrgios in action against Karen Khachanov at the US Open. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

“Now I just have to wait until the Australian Open but I just want to keep my form, the way I’m playing, I want to keep that going.

“I’m doing all the right things so I definitely think I can win a grand slam, for sure.

“For a couple of years, I didn’t even get past the third round – I wasn’t training hard enough, I probably wasn’t taking the sport seriously enough.

“Now, the last year and a half I’ve been training really, really hard.

“Grand slams are all you really get remembered by. You can’t just rock up to a grand slam and expect to win it.

“You have got to put the building blocks in and the foundations in place. I’m super excited to be here, that’s for sure.”

Nick Kyrgios focused despite court case in Australia

Kyrgios said it was “not difficult at all” to focus on this week’s event, despite his court hearing on Tuesday in Australia for alleged common assault.

The 27-year-old is due to have his case heard at a magistrates’ court in Canberra on the same day he is scheduled to play in Tokyo.

“There’s only so much I can control and I’m taking all the steps and dealing with that off the court,” Kyrgios said.

“I can only do what I can and I’m here in Tokyo and just trying to play some good tennis, continue that momentum and just try to do my job – and that’s play tennis, play it well. That’s it.”

Kyrgios is the fifth seed in Tokyo and will play Taiwan’s Tseng Chun-hsin in the first round on Tuesday night (Australian time).

Top seed Casper Ruud, US Open semi-finalist Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz also feature in the draw.

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