Nick Kyrgios confident heading into Australian Open: ‘I know that I’m able to go to the final of a Grand Slam’

 

Nick Kyrgios is well aware that no Australian tennis player in men’s singles has been able to claim the Grand Slam title in Australia since Mark Edmondson did it in 1976.

But, following his first finals appearance last year, he’s confident he has the ability to change that.

Kyrgios, 27, was introduced to the media Thursday to speak about his new role in the National Basketball League after becoming part of the South East Melbourne Phoenix ownership group. But the focus of the press conference quickly shifted to the Australian Open, where Kyrgios enters as one of the tournament favorites.

Nick Kyrgios of Australia serves to Daniil Medvedev during second round play at the National Bank Open tennis tournament Aug. 10, 2022, in Montreal.
(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

“Well, I am one of the best players in the world. So I’m definitely going to go into the Australian Open or any tournament with confidence. I feel like I’ve proven that I can go deep in a Grand Slam,” Kyrgios said.

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“It’s a bit different this time for me, you know, being one of the favorites. Usually I’m kind of like a dark horse type thing, but now, obviously after the year I’ve had, I’m one of the favorites. It’s kind of new for me as well. This is the first time I’ve genuinely gone into a Slam feeling like I’m one of the guys that can really take a trophy and knock on the door.”

Kyrgios had one of his most successful years in 2022, advancing to the final round at Wimbledon, where he lost to 21-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic.

Months later, he advanced to the quarterfinal round of the U.S. Open, a tournament Djokovic was notably absent from over the U.S. government’s restriction for unvaccinated travelers.

Nick Kyrgios of Australia reacts against Cristian Garin of Chile during their men’s singles quarterfinal match at Wimbledon July 6, 2022, in London.
(Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

While not downplaying his previous performances, Kyrgios said his game has improved from last year because of his consistency, but he stopped short of saying 2023 would be the year he wins the Australian Open.

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“I’m not going to put that much pressure on myself,” he said with a laugh. “I’m just going to go out there and have fun, and, you know, whatever happens happens.”

“I know that I’m able to go to the final of a Grand Slam. So I’m not even going to think about winning it. I’m just going to try and do the right things day by day and, hopefully, if I tick off all the boxes, I’ve got a pretty good chance to win match.

Nick Kyrgios of Australia reacts after a point against Tseng Chun-hsin of Taiwan during their men’s singles match at the Japan Open tennis tournament in Tokyo Oct. 4, 2022.
(Yuichi Yamazaki/AFP via Getty Images)

“I just got to take it day by day. Obviously I’m capable, but there’s so many other people in the draw that are capable as well.”

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Kyrgios’ best finish at the Australian Open was a quarterfinal appearance in 2015. Fellow Aussie Ash Barty became the first Australian to win in Melbourne in 44 years after winning the tournament in 2022.