Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis challenged each other in the first round at the US Open 2022. In the all-Australian challenge, the field ultimately proved the talented Canberra player right in a match that Kokkinakis actually didn't live as well as they could to imagine.
Atmosphere made unusual due to the playful atmosphere that always reigns between two friends, even on the eve of a Grand Slam match and it was Kokkinakis himself who cited an episode that took place a few minutes before entering the court.
Kokkinakis told in the post match: "It's never easy to play against such a person, it was an awkward match. Now we have twice as much to do, so we're fine, we joked in the locker room. In fact, Nick sent me five memes. minutes before the game, so when you go out onto the pitch it's hard to get excited.
We're competing, of course, but it's hard to have that inner fire. I couldn't have my usual intensity, it felt like a practice match. It was frustrating, I know I can play better. " Nick is a pivotal player for this tennis era.
For better or for worse, what he does on the court entertains the crowd a lot. Always for better or for worse, he is able to speak to the new generations of tennis players. And let's forget the paternalisms about his behavior on and off the court: let's just enjoy the show that he is able to offer.
The Game is a sport for gentlemen and ladies, as it always has been, but there are not too many of them left, with what we have seen this year, all the grotesque and absurd situations. Kyrgios is a hub, good for ATP.
"I'm exhausted, people don't understand it"
As for Nick Kyrgios, he did not send them to the media microphones at the end of the match against Kokkinakis.
Despite the victory, Nick took the opportunity to show how much the pace that the circuit imposes weigh on his psychophysical state: "It was one of the most uncomfortable games I have played in my career. We both had a game plan, we know each other very well, from the beginning we tried to block ourselves and play with the ball.
I played very well in the first two sets from the baseline, I tried to move him as much as possible. I'm exhausted, 99% of people don't understand what it's like to be on tour for so long, even if I don't travel as much as the rest of Australians.
People don't understand what I'm going through, so I'm proud of my performance," said Kyrgios, who after the US Open is not keen to play more tournaments but rather to return to Australia to regain motivation and energy.