Nick Kyrgios: 'Being in the spotlight is not easy'

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Nick Kyrgios: 'Being in the spotlight is not easy'

Nick Kyrgios played it safe and singled out Rafael Nadal as the 2023 Roland Garros winner. The Australian believes Rafa will continue his streak on the beloved clay and take another title at the age of 37. Nadal made his debut in Paris in 2005 and lifted the trophy after beating Roger Federer and Mariano Puerta.

Over the years, the Spaniard became the most dominant player at a single Major, winning 14 Roland Garros titles in 18 trips to Paris! This year's Roland Garros has been the most difficult for Nadal. The Spaniard rose above all odds to deliver his 14th crown and extend his incredible legacy.

At 36, Nadal became the oldest Roland Garros winner, nearly two decades after he captured his first title as a teenager! Heading to Paris on a troubled and unformed foot, Rafa rediscovered his Roland Garros magic and honed his incredible numbers that no one will match in the future.

Nadal brought his doctor to Paris and received injections before each match to ease the pain in his foot and endure best-of-five matches in his kingdom. He did it in a big way, like so many other times, overcoming the most difficult obstacles to recover the trophy lost to Novak Djokovic a year ago.

Nadal kicked off his 18th Roland Garros campaign with solid wins over Jordan Thompson, Corentin Moutet and Botic Van De Zandschulp. He defeated them in straight sets and saved his energy for the second week. In the fourth round, the Spaniard faced his first serious opponent in Felix Auger-aliassime.

The Canadian forced a rare five setter from Rafa in Paris, and the more experienced player accelerated to prevail and reach the quarterfinals. Things got even more difficult for Nadal, with world number 1 Novak Djokovic waiting on the other side of the net.

After a huge battle, Rafa achieved a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 and 7-6 victory in four hours and 12 minutes to meet in the semifinals and dethrone the Serb.

Nick Kyrgios is motivated

Nick Kyrgios said fans in his country see him as a "legitimate" contender for Major titles and that adds to the pressure.

“In real life, there’s not much pressure to being a professional tennis player. We earn great money, we travel around the world with our favourite people. We get to see different people, different cultures. In the scheme of things, that’s not pressure," the Aussie said.

"But I completely understand going on the match court with all this expectation that ‘Nick Kyrgios is legitimate chance to win a Grand Slam now’, there’s a lot of pressure there especially having the Australian Open and everyone in Australia expecting big things from me. It’s a lot to handle sometimes. Being in the spotlight is not easy," he added.

Nick Kyrgios