Andre Agassi shares honest thoughts on Nick Kyrgios, his advice for Australian

Just like Agassi, Kyrgios has also had a love-hate relationship with tennis.

by Dzevad Mesic
Andre Agassi shares honest thoughts on Nick Kyrgios, his advice for Australian
© Getty Images Sport - Graham Denholm

Andre Agassi hailed Nick Kyrgios as "an authentic" personality and suggested that he would try to understand the basics and root of the Australian's love-hate relationship with tennis if he had a chance to speak with the 2022 Wimbledon runner-up. 

Agassi, a former eight-time Grand Slam champion and one of the most iconic personalities in tennis history, enjoyed great success in tennis but it was far from a perfect life for the American. In his autobiography, American tennis icon Agassi revealed that he "hated" tennis and also described the game he professionally played as "the loneliest sport possible."

When Kyrgios first showed up on the Tour over a decade ago, some were declaring him one of the biggest tennis talents in the 21st century. While Kyrgios' major talent for tennis has never been questioned, there have been times when the Australian's commitment and dedication to the game were questioned. Early in his career, Kyrgios said he would rather play basketball than tennis and there were moments when he was indicating that he was forced into playing tennis. 

Two years ago, Kyrgios revealed that in 2019 he battled major depression and even had suicidal thoughts at the time. In one of his recent interviews, Kyrgios admitted that the pressure and expectations placed on him, as well as the things that people were saying about him and how he was being portrayed by the media and public, played a part in that. 

But it all changed for the better in 2022, when a determined Kyrgios made the Wimbledon final and enjoyed his best season on the Tour. Unfortunately, just after enjoying his career-best season, Kyrgios picked up a knee injury before sustaining a wrist injury just after returning to tennis in June. 

In recent times, 28-year-old Kyrgios has indicated that he may be ending his career in the near future and also suggested in one interview that "the stars have to align a little bit" for him to make a successful comeback after such a lengthy absence.

Agassi on what would be his advice for Kyrgios

“What I think he can still do with his game from a talent perspective, I think that’s pretty clear,” Agassi told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

After winning the 1995 Australian Open and being the top-ranked player in the world, Agassi started battling personal problems. Then, his form and results went downhill as two years later he found himself ranked nearly outside the top-150. But Agassi managed to overcome his problems and make a huge return as he won five Grand Slams between 1999-2003.

“When I was at my lowest after I was No. 1 in the world, I felt like I had to rebuild on so many levels when I kind of got disconnected from the game for a good year, year and a half,” Agassi said.

“If I [got to] spend time with him [Kyrgios] … for me the most important thing is to understand who somebody is, where somebody’s at, and meeting him where that is.

“Because regardless what demons one fights with, regardless how real they are or not, if you think they’re real, they exist, so you have to deal with them. 

“When I listen to Nick speak, I see somebody who at least has acknowledged the honesty and what he’s feeling. And I think you always get that from him.

“We all wish we could handle ourselves maybe with more discipline at times in our life. But at the same time, you have to sort of say it’s nice when something is authentic and real.”

Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Kyrgios drawing inspiration from Alexander Zverev

After being forced to miss the 2023 Australian Open, Kyrgios had surgery on his knee. Six months later, Kyrgios made a comeback but sustained a wrist injury. Kyrgios hasn't played since and he is also out of this year's Australian Open.

In 2022, Zverev suffered a horror injury against Rafael Nadal during their French Open semifinal meeting, tearing several ligaments. After missing the rest of 2022, Zverev made a very successful comeback in 2023 as he was a French Open semifinalist - won two titles - made the ATP Finals - and also returned to the top-10.

While working as an analyst for Tennis Channel during the ATP Finals, Kyrgios applauded Zverev and said he could absolutely draw some inspiration from the German. 

“The stars have to align a little bit,” Kyrgios said at the time. 

“And with Zverev, he’s an incredibly hard worker. That’s his reputation. He ticks all the boxes and, if someone like that can come back from an injury like that, I think that’s what I have to draw inspiration from for sure."

Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev
Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

This upcoming fortnight, Kyrgios will be a regular at Melbourne Park as the Australian is working for Eurosport as an analyst and he will also be conducting interviews for his new podcast.

Andre Agassi Nick Kyrgios