Rod Laver: 'I think Nick Kyrgios could be the best player in the world'


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Rod Laver: 'I think Nick Kyrgios could be the best player in the world'

Former Australian tennis player Rod Laver believes that fellow compatriot Nick Kyrgios is ready to do some big things and potentially become a dominant force as the tennis legend already sees an improvement in the game of the 22-year-old.

Kyrgios kicked off his 2018 campaign in style as he made it all the way at the Brisbane International -- the fan-favorite lost the opening set in his first three matches at the event -- but fought to win those matches and eventually beat USA's Ryan Harrison in the final in straight sets.

The rising Australian then hoped to make a splash at Melbourne Park -- but couldn't survive a tough draw -- as he managed to defeat France's Jo Wilfried Tsonga in the third-round before he was edged by No. 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov in the following round.

"I think his mental approach has changed – winning the Brisbane tournament," Laver told Fairfax Media. "Nick, I think, is ready to get involved. Beating (Jo-Wilfried) Tsonga in Melbourne here is a great start. "I just believe that he's ready to sort of do something.

Just the way he's playing, he's just of playing and not letting outside interests worry him." Kyrgios -- a four-time ATP champion and former world No. 13 -- beat superstars Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal twice and Swiss Roger Federer once at the ATP level so far in his career, while he also has a win over Andy Murray -- which came at the 2016 Hopman Cup.

"I think, you know, Nick Kyrgios could be the best player in the world," Laver opinioned. "He has the markings of all of it. "So many other people have said the same thing. "What's he done? He's beaten Nadal, he's beaten Federer, darn near all of them, at their best." Also read: Casper Ruud says he has always loved humble idol Rafael Nadal