‘Nick Kyrgios is a player who needs a lot of affection’, says former star

The last big event of the Grand Slam season is upon us, with all the stars ready to hit the court at Flushing Meadows. Doubts remain about the presence of some tennis players in this edition of the US Open. Alexander Zverev has stated that he wants to and may even be present, but his adventure on American soil could be short-lived given his difficult recovery from ankle surgery.

However, the story is different for Novak Djokovic, who is awaiting official guidelines to enter the United States as vaccinated. The surprises, instead, seem to come from the women’s side of tennis, with the presence of all the most important players.

Naomi Osaka, twice champion at Flushing Meadows, in 2018 and 2020, also returns. The Japanese tennis player in this edition of the US Open wants to go one step further: also play in mixed doubles. However, in a tweet she explained the problem that could arise when finding a partner for this new adventure.

“I would like to play mixed doubles at the US Open because I have never played a full match in my life, but I am very afraid of disappointing my partner,” she wrote on her social profile. Since she didn’t give an explicit name for this mixed doubles match, Twitter users took it upon themselves to speculate about a sparking couple.

From Daniil Medvedev, someone to “blame” for his lack of doubles aptitude, to Andy Murray, who had already proposed to Emma Raducanu at Wimbledon. Nick Kyrgios could not miss: winner of the Australian Open doubles tournament paired with Kokkinakis, he would be the perfect partner for Osaka given the friendship between the two.

Bartoli reflects on Kyrgios

French former professional tennis player Marion Bartoli finds Nick Kyrgios to be an extremely flamboyant player. “That Kyrgios is a kicker, a player who feels the excitement of big games, a player who isn’t afraid to take on the big guys, that’s obvious,” she said, adding, “For me he will always be an extremely flamboyant player, who will have the ability in a match to get them all, except [Rafael] Nadal on clay and a few [other] exceptions.

But becoming a cador on the circuit by being present every week is not Nick Kyrgios’ trademark”. Bartoli also touched upon how Nick Kyrgios’ behavior often costs him and the effect of being away from home for long stretches.

“He is a player who needs a lot of affection, everyone behaves the way he wants to behave, but we know very well that it costs him a lot, being Australian and being away from home for a long time so at some point it unpins,” she said, adding, “It started showing up in Cincinnati against Taylor Fritz where it didn’t exist and the game was over in less than an hour”.

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