By becoming the 9th Australian player of the Open era to qualify for the Wimbledon final, the first since Mark Philippoussis in 2003 (beaten by Roger Federer who had then won his first Grand Slam title), Nick Kyrgios is part of a prestigious line of great Aussie champions. But he’s unlikely to share a cup of tea with most of them.
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“These great former Australian champions you talk about were never very nice to me, they weren’t very supportive during my career and especially during this fortnight.fumed Kyrgios, who made no secret of living this situation quite badly. Honestly, it’s pretty hard to read all they can say about me.”
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Mark Philippoussis – it is true that he became the coach of… Stefanos Tsitsipas – also went there with his scathing verse by suggesting that Kyrgios has a bad influence with children, and by revealing the tactics he would use against him to break him rhythm. “Nick always takes barely three seconds to serve: if I had to play him, I would go to my napkin and raise my hand to ask him to wait a bit”told the press the one who had also reached the final of the US Open 1998 against Pat Rafter.
They have an unhealthy obsession with putting me down. I don’t know if they don’t like me or if they’re afraid of me…
Pat Rafter, precisely, let’s talk about it. The former Australian tennis gentleman himself has had a few battles with Nick Kyrgios in the past, particularly on the sidelines of the 2019 Cincinnati tournament when the latter had multiplied the escapades during a match lost against Karen Khachanov. “I don’t understand why he hasn’t been suspended yet, had thus dropped the former world No. 1. Ok, it attracts the public but is it really the most important? Shouldn’t players be asked to sign a protocol to maintain a certain standing?
Nick Kyrgios then challenged him on social networks: “I’m not surprised Rafter is commenting on this. Dude loves to put down other Aussie players. Still relevant, champ!” he had notably tweeted.
Nick Kyrgios therefore returned to the charge this Friday, explaining that he did not understand the reason for these repeated attacks from his compatriots. “Apart from Lleyton Hewitt, my Davis Cup captain, who knows how I work and lets me be myself, I don’t get any support from the former Australian champions. It’s strange, they have an unhealthy obsession with I don’t know if they don’t like me or if they’re afraid of me… It sucks because me, if an Alex Minaur, Jordan Thompson or Thanasi Kokkinakis was in the final, I would be like a crazy…”
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