A public war of words has erupted between Nick Kyrgios and tennis great Boris Becker.
In a recent interview with The Athletic, the injured Aussie tennis star made the observation that the game, in his opinion, has evolved so far from generations past that icons of the game from yesteryear, even in their prime, would stand no chance against the champions of today.
“The game was so slow back then,” Kyrgios told the American publication.
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“I’ve watched Boris Becker and I’m not saying they weren’t good in their time, but to say that they would be just as good (as modern players) now, it’s absurd.
“A big serve back then was like 197 to 200km/h. People like me, we serve 220 consistently, to corners. It’s a whole different ball game.
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“I’m not saying they wouldn’t have found their way. But serve and volley (for instance), to do it all the time now, you need to be serving 220, because if you serve anything less than 220, bro, Djokovic eats you alive. He eats you alive.
“Bro, Lleyton Hewitt destroyed Sampras one year at the US Open. That was the first prototype of someone who could return serve. He made Sampras look like s***.
“And what would Djokovic do to someone like Sampras? It would be a cleanup. If Hewitt was doing it, Djokovic would destroy him. He would eat him alive.”
Nick Kyrgios has hit out at tennis champion Boris Becker. Credit: AP
The outspoken Aussie is never afraid to give his honest and often brutal opinions, and didn’t back down when, in this case, he was challenged by Becker himself.
Responding to the quotes in The Athletic, Becker questioned the former world No.13’s credibility to make them.
“Nick makes a lot of noise about tennis lately!?!” Becker wrote.
“Why does he speak about a sport he apparently hates… Fact-check: Nick has never won a major championship as a player or coach (yes doubles, one) so where is any credibility coming from?
“Trying to compare generations… Laver v Federer, Borg v Nadal, Sampras v Djokovic!?! I am not even gonna mention McEnroe, Conners, Lendl, Agassi, Courier, Edberg, Wilander, Kuerten, Bruguer, Rafter, Hewitt and many more… Speak to your @OnlyFans about many things but tennis.”
Boris Becker was sentenced to prison last April. Credit: AP
The OnlyFans reference was a dig at Kyrgios’s recent unveiling as an ambassador for the subscription-based content platform, for which he is now a creator, and on which he exclusively revealed the news that he was pulling out of next year’s Australian Open.
Wasting no time to return serve, Kyrgios laughed off Becker’s retort in the comments, taking a dig at his recent imprisonment.
Becker, the two-time Australian Open champion, was sentenced to 30 months in prison in April 2022 for illicitly transferring large amounts of money and hiding assets after he was declared bankrupt.
“Hahahaha this bloke speaking about credibility…… Last I checked you were the one hiding assets, no?” Kyrgios said.
“Also I mean I’ve beaten, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray so I feel like I have a little credibility…. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Novak would wipe the floor against you in your prime?
“Like it’s not an attack. It’s just facts.
“Basically 99% of the tennis tour doesn’t have credibility then? Potato. What about your boy Zverev? No credibility? He hasn’t even won a doubles grand slam?
“And I appreciate the @OnlyFans shoutout!!!! Got the Boris Becker speaking about the brand!!!! Always knew you kept up with my business collaborations.”
It’s not the first time Kyrgios and Becker have clashed publicly, the two having had a long-running feud over a number of sore points.
Kyrgios didn’t stop at Becker either, biting back at other fans who accused him of having “wasted” his career without leaving a mark on the game.
Kyrgios biting back. Credit: XContinued. Credit: XContinued. Credit: X
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