Boris Becker issues strong message to Nick Kyrgios

Becker addresses Kyrgios' claims that players in this era are better than the ones from the past.

by Dzevad Mesic
Boris Becker issues strong message to Nick Kyrgios
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Boris Becker thinks Nick Kyrgios needs to "respect the past" as the former six-time Grand Slam champion believes players like him have paved the way for the Australian tennis player to be making good money in today's age.

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Kyrgios said he believes that players in this era are better players than the ones from the past. While explaining his point, Kyrgios specifically named Becker as one player that he believes would not have been as good now.

Becker, who took to X to address Kyrgios' comments last week, now also addressed those comments on Eurosport. "We live in a democracy. Everyone can think what he wants. You have to have respect for the past and simply say 'thank you' out loud that these old pros existed, because without them the tennis circus would no longer exist.

Let me start with Australia. Rod Laver, Ken Roswall, John Newcombe, Ken Roach - the gladiators of the Australian tennis scene. Then I have to mention Patrick Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt. They were all number one, they won Grand Slam tournaments.

I go further in the generational question and say: 70s, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, then Ivan Lendl came along," Becker told Eurosport Germany’s "Das Gelbe vom Ball" podcast.

Becker: Past players made it possible for Kyrgios to be paid this well

Becker, a former world No 1, thinks past champions from different eras all played a part in tennis becoming popular as a sport.

Also, Becker believes past champions are to credit for prize money in tennis improving over the years. "They popularised the sport, they drew viewers to the television. You can see the result today. There has never been so much prize money, there has never been so much publicity as there is today.

And that's because of the legends. I did play a bit in the 80s, but there was [Stefan] Edberg, [Mats] Wilander. The 90s were {Andre] Agassi, [Pete] Sampras. All these players make it possible for Nick Kyrgios not to play tennis at all this year and still be able to make a living from tennis," Becker said.

Boris Becker Nick Kyrgios