Rod Laver wasn’t afraid of that Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios previously criticized – But the two-time Grand Slam champion on the calendar thinks he’s seen something different in the past six months.
After years of teasing fans about his phenomenal talent, Kyrgios put it all together this year with a Exciting run to the Wimbledon finalAs well as a convincing defeat for world number one Daniil Medvedev at the US Open.
The Wimbledon final in particular was a massive achievement for Kyrgios, his first Grand Slam final, and Laver believes it is the first time in the 27-year-old’s career that he feels he truly belongs at an elite level.
Laver memorably said in 2019 that Kyrgios would ‘never learn’ how to find his best on the field amid a tumultuous season punctuated by several contentious rivalries with chair referees.
While Kyrgios has not explicitly said since then, Laffer believes that there is now a level of self-confidence Which he had never seen in the Canberra-born star before.
In an interview with Daily TelegraphLaffer said he believed the improvements Kyrgios made in his ability to maintain focus were “the greatest thing that ever happened to him”.
“Kyrgios has all the potential in the world, every shot you could want to shoot,” Laver said.
“It’s probably one of the biggest servers in the game. It’s accurate and can play under pressure.
“I was thrilled when he got to the final, but he didn’t think he could win Wimbledon. I said in my mind, ‘Hey, put in your best performance. You may surprise yourself.
“After a month or two, I said, ‘You can win some of these matches. Why don’t you apply yourself, man? “
Although Kyrgios missed collecting ranking points for Wimbledon after the ATP stripped the tournament for banning Russian players, his performance at the US Open was enough to promote him to world number 20.
While Laver said he would have liked to see Kyrgios compete in the Laver Cup, he believes the conversation they had after the Wimbledon final had a profound effect on Kyrgios.
“He realized, I’m good enough, I can do it,” Laver said.
“It was the greatest thing that ever happened to him. Unfortunately, he said he wanted to go back to Australia and not play in the Laver Cup.
“But he knows he can play and compete now. Don’t walk around the field thinking, ‘If you get three games, that’s enough.'”
Now he’s thinking, ‘Next year? Wimbledon? You’ll see a different player.”
Nick Kyrgios angers Novak Djokovic fans over Laver Cup participation
Although Laffer believes that Kyrgios will be a different player on the field, there are no off-court signs that Kyrgios is ditching his outspoken style off the field.
During last week’s Laver Cup and the resulting tribute to retired Roger Federer, Kyrgios couldn’t help but trick the bear with his old sparring partner in Novak Djokovic.
The 26-year-old Wimbledon finalist was one of thousands of people around the world who paid tribute to Federer, who made his last professional Laver Cup appearance alongside rival and longtime friend Rafael Nadal.
“Novak knows he has a better chance in the four slams now,” Kyrgios wrote, accompanied by a poignant photo of Federer’s farewell with Nadal crying in the background.
Tennis fans were outraged by Kyrgios’ comment, with many claiming she struck on a disrespectful tone in light of the celebration of Federer’s accomplishments.
His comment was odd, considering that the Laver Cup farewell was Federer’s only appearance this year after he struggled to recover from a long-standing knee problem.
Federer’s famous 24-year career, in which he won 20 Grand Slam titles, along with Nadal ended in emotional scenes at the Laver Cup, where Djokovic was also seen at one stage.
Kyrgios has been criticized for his “daring” for the position, leaving some fans stunned.
One fan wrote: “I can’t believe he had the nerve to say this!!!
The Swiss legend couldn’t bring the curtain down on his illustrious career with one final victory, then He and Nadal suffered defeat By Francis Tiafoe and Jack Sock.
Federer saw his ‘dream’ finale of losing 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 11-9 to dampen fans’ spirits at the O2 Arena in London.
The 41-year-old broke down in tears as he embraced his European teammates, including longtime friend and rival Nadal.
But there were stunning scenes when Nadal burst into tears as he sat next to Federer.
The Spanish champion seemed to feel the full weight of the emotional scenes as he cried in his hands as Federer bid farewell to the sport that gave him so much.
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