Tennis 2022: Australia’s lack of ‘respect’ behind Nick Kyrgios Davis Cup snub

Divisive Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios has blasted Australia over a lack of “respect” throughout his career, identifying it as the main reason he doesn’t play Davis Cup tennis.

Australia made the final of the 122-year-old team event which it has won 28 times, but not since 2003 when Lleyton Hewitt, Mark Philippoussis, Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs combined to defeat Spain.

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Until 2022, Australia hadn’t as much as made the final since then.

But despite Kyrgios’ snub of the tournament, the team of Alex de Minaur Thanasi Kokkinakis and Jordan Thompson as well as doubles specialists Matt Ebden and Max Purcell took Australia to the decider before losing 2-0 to Canada.

Kyrgios hasn’t played in the Davis Cup since 2019.

The Canberran was coming off the season of his life however, making the Wimbledon final, winning the Australian Open doubles with Kokkinakis and taking out the singles and doubles in Washington helped elevate the 27-year-old to World No. 22, the top ranked Aussie.

But still no Davis Cup return.

Ahead of the Diriyah Cup, his final tournament of the year, Kyrgios has blamed Australia for skipping the team tournament.

“Maybe if Australia embraced me a little bit more, I would play it and bring home the trophy,” he told AAP.

“But who knows?

“It’s not always easy for me to erase everything in Australia that’s said negatively about me or my family.

“You don’t need that – so it’s interesting that they really want me to play, but are always criticising.”

Kyrgios is a lightning rod for criticism, often arguing with umpires during matches, abusing his own box, having previously been accused of tanking and being one of the most outspoken members of the tour.

He has also underperformed in the past despite possessing one of the more complete games in world tennis, frustrating fans who want to see him realise his incredible potential.

However, after years of battling seemingly battling himself, Kyrgios claimed he had “always held up my fair share of the bargain towards Australia”.

“I feel like this is the first year I’ve earned respect when it should have been given when I first came on tour,” Kyrgios said.

“I’ve represented (Australians), put them on the map, and having produced one of the most successful male years in the last decade for Australia, and am only just getting embraced (now).

“I don’t think that’s my fault.”

Kyrgios will also take part in the three-day Diriyah Cup for a guaranteed six-figure pay cheque in Saudi Arabia along with the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Cameron Norrie, Matteo Berrettini and Daniil Medvedev.

After a decade on the tour, Kyrgios said he’s not in the sport for the week to week grind, preferring to spend time with his girlfriend and family.

However, he also didn’t slam the door shut on the Davis Cup, saying he may have reconsidered if the tournament was in Australia.

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