Tennis 2022: Nick Kyrgios retirement, Grand Slam record, Australian Open, World Tennis League, news

Nick Kyrgios has opened up about retirement plans should he win a Grand Slam as well as making an honest admission ahead of next month’s Australian Open.

Speaking to Eurosportwhile in action in Dubai at the World Tennis League, Kyrgios spoke openly about a host of topics, including the struggles of being constantly away from home.

First though, he was asked about comments earlier in the week, where he jokingly claimed he hoped he could win a Grand Slam and then retire.

While it can at times be hard to tell if Kyrgios is being serious, in this case the Australian “honestly” said he “probably would” call time on his career if he won a Slam.

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“Especially being from Australia as well, there’s just so much travel, so much time away from family, so much time away from friends,” he told Eurosport.

“You’re just missing milestones in the family, you’re just not having a normal life really.”

It is an issue Kyrgios said he and other Australian players have been forced to deal with for the majority of their careers, adding that the lifestyle can be “quite vigorous”.

“It’s easy for a European or an American player to lose or win a tournament, then you take a five-hour flight back home and you spend a week there before the next event,” he said.

“Whereas as an Australian, you’re doing like four to seven months travel blocks. Honestly, I don’t think it’s healthy. No other real athlete does that in the world, in any sport. Doing seven months on your own.

“People are like, why are you complaining about it or whatnot? It’s not what they think. You’re living out of a suitcase, at hotels, it’s not like you’re on holiday. You’ve got to go to tennis courts, train; the lifestyle is quite vigorous.”

Winning only makes it harder for Kyrgios, who admitted the stress and pressure of having to perform to higher expectations — both on and off the court — can get to him at times.

But the 27-year-old also said with experience he has grown to handle that side of the sport “a lot better”.

Even still, the spotlight will be on Kyrgios more than ever before next month at Melbourne Park, when he competes for his maiden Grand Slam singles title.

Kyrgios has conceded previously that the pressure of living up to his potential at the Australian Open has been a challenge and it will only be even harder next year with the other star attraction, Ash Barty, out of the picture.

“I’m kind of gearing for an exhausting couple of weeks to be honest,” Kyrgios told Eurosport.

“But I’ve just got to internalise it and just think to myself it’s just another tournament. Obviously it’s a lot more than just a tournament for a lot of other people around me.

“For me, I’m the one playing, so I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I’m only human at the end of the day, so I can’t deal with too much. I’ve got about three weeks from now until then to just get my body right, get my game right and feel good about it.

“I know I’ve got about a month and a half after that where I’m going to be at home before Indian Wells; I’m not going to play anything after that. That’s really what I’m looking forward to.

“I’m not even looking forward to before AO, I’m just looking to after it, I kind of want it to be over. Because I know how stressful it is for me personally to be in the spotlight. Just everything, even my days off are stressful. I’ll probably play doubles. I’m really waiting for it all to be over.

“There is a little bit of excitement but it’s probably 95 per cent stress, 5 per cent excitement to be honest.”

Originally published as Kyrgios’ sad Australian Open admission as he opens up on ‘vigorous’ tennis reality

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