Nick Kyrgios will eventually make his long-awaited return to tennis, but he has admitted he doesn’t “really want to”.
Speculation is rife that the former world No.13 will never play another professional match as he continues to battle injury that has kept him sidelined almost this entire year, having played just once on tour.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Nick Kyrgios admits he doesn’t want to play tennis anymore.
Watch the latest sport on Channel 7 or stream for free on 7plus >>
After a 2022 season that was his most successful, having reached the Wimbledon final, Kyrgios has since battled knee and wrist problems that have thrown his future into doubt and forced him to pull out of the upcoming Australian Open for the second straight year.
And while the 28-year-old insists he will return to the court, he doesn’t necessarily want to.
Netflix announces groundbreaking Rafael Nadal move
Tennis legends’ relationship hits rock bottom: ‘We are not friends’
“If it was up to me, I don’t really want to play any more to be honest,” Kyrgios told the On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast.
“I have to, almost (keep playing). I’ve got so much more to give, but for me, I don’t feel like playing any more.
“I’m exhausted, I’m tired. I have had three surgeries now that, I’m only 28 years old, I always wanted to have a family and not be in pain. When I get up, I can’t walk without pain. It’s a tough gig.”
Nick Kyrgios has admitted he doesn’t really want to play tennis anymore. Credit: AP
Kyrgios also told the British podcaster that if he had his time over again, he would never have first picked up a racquet.
His almost complete absence from the tour in 2023 has seen him drop off the ATP rankings list, though he retains a protected ranking that will allow him to immediately return to the ATP Tour’s top events when he is ready to do so.
“I only want to play for about another one to two years and be at the top and go down my own terms,” Kyrgios said.
“Like I would hate to have another surgery or anything like that. So, I think I’ve still got the ability to have a good one to two years and then that’s it.
“I think I’ll be at peace with everything I’ve achieved. I’m going to have to just say to everyone out there who wants me to play more, ‘You’re just going to have to be OK with me not playing anymore’.”
After undergoing knee surgery in January, Kyrgios went under the knife again in October after tearing ligaments in his right, serving wrist.
A disappointed Nick Kyrgios will not take part in 2024’s Australian Open. Credit: AAP
Former US Open finalist Juan Martin del Potro initially made a successful comeback from a similar injury but hasn’t played since February last year.
Australian tennis great John Newcombe isn’t completely giving up on Kyrgios returning but acknowledged the tough road ahead for the Canberran.
“I don’t know much about the injury but it seems to be hanging around there and it’s going to be hard to come back from that because he’s getting older every year and he’s been out for quite a while now,” Newcombe said.
“So, it’s hard to break back in but, if he does get the wrist right, he’s got a big game and he can win a lot of easy points.”
The comments from Kyrgios are a clear foreshadowing of his imminent retirement, which he has always suggested will come before his body begins to fail him.
Kyrgios has never been a fan of the rigors of life on tour, but has consistently detailed his drive to win one grand slam, with which, he says, he could retire happy.
Nick Kyrgios spoke to Jay Shetty. Credit: On Purpose with Jay Shetty
But despite having been denied that chance during 2023, while watching a new generation of stars like Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner begin to encroach on Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal’s dominance in the game, Kyrgios says this year has been no less enjoyable than the previous one, the most fruitful of his career professionally.
“I played a full year last year, no injuries, had great results, had a great year,” Kyrgios said.
“I barely played this year, two surgeries, and now still, I would probably say they’re both equally as fine, which is crazy.
“Most tennis players would be like ‘this was just depressing’. People would be struggling, they would be like ‘what do I do, who’s my identity?’.
“This year, it’s been equally as enjoyable as last year. That’s just my personality and how different it is. That’s the crazy thing.”
The Australian Open begins on January 14 where Kyrgios is expected to make an appearance as a commentator.
– With AAP
Aussie tennis great announces ‘super exciting’ life update
Fire crews rush to iconic Australian tennis club
If you’d like to view this content, please adjust your Cookie Settings.