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Nick Kyrgios: “I think this is my last year” of playing Laver Cup

He’s only 26 years old, but time and time again Nick Kyrgios hints that he’s close to calling it a tennis career. He did that again today after his loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas at Laver Cup.

Nick Kyrgios Laver Cup Sep 25, 2021; Boston, MA, USA; Team World player Nick Kyrgios attempts a shot between his legs during the first set of his match against Team Europe player Stefanos Tsitsipas at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Richard Cashin-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Kyrgios has talked often about the fact that he doesn’t plan to have a long tennis career, and after his straight sets loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday at Laver Cup he reiterated the sentiment, saying that he plans to call it a season after this weekend and hinting that he will not be back for next year’s Laver Cup in London.

“Where I go from here, everything’s a bonus,” Kyrgios told reporters. “I’m playing Laver Cup again, and I’m not going to lie, I think this is my last year I will probably play Laver Cup.”

It’d be a shame if the Aussie, a former world No 13 with six ATP titles to his name and the potential for so many more at the age of 26, didn’t continue his career and push to make the most out of his seemingly limitless potential. But it sounds like Kyrgios has other ideas, both in the short and the long term.

I want to spend time with my family

Kyrgios says that he will make a beeline to Australia after the Laver Cup concludes, because No 1 on his priority list is spending more time with his family.

“Definitely this is my last event of the year,” he said. “You know, I need to go back home. I have been traveling for four-and-a-half months now. My mum is not doing too well with her health. I’d like to go back and see her. Obviously the conditions in Australia aren’t ideal at the moment, but I don’t want to be on the road playing tennis when I want to spend time with my family.”

There is some good news: Kyrgios did talk about refueling and prepping for the Australian Open in 2022.

“I feel like I’m not one of those players now that’s going to go hunting for points or hunting for accolades or anything like that,” he said. “I feel like I have nothing left to prove to myself. I’m incredibly proud of what I have achieved. Obviously, you know, I’ll get my body right and I’ll start my preseason, spend time with my family for the Australian Open and go from there. I will reassess. I’m not a player that’s going to play every week. I have a lot of off-court duties and that type of stuff. Yeah, we will reassess.”

I’m not going to lie and say I’m going to play four or five more years – that’s not me

Kyrgios, who is currently ranked 95, will have to do some work if he wants to continue playing main draws at bigger events and Grand Slams, and it doesn’t sound clear that he wants to do that work. The difficult part of this for tennis fans is that Kyrgios is blossoming as a personality after working through years of issues and rough times on tour. He was a controversial character early in his career, and rubbed many the wrong way, but he has matured as a person and become an endearing character on tour.

It will be a shame if we don’t get to see him and his magnetic personality regularly on tour for years to come, but it seems like it isn’t in the cards.

“This is about my eighth year on tour,” Kyrgios says. “I feel like I have been around for a long, long time. You can see the Zverevs and Thiems and all that, I was on tour before these guys were on tour. I have had not a long career, but for me I always wanted to come on tour to beat the best players, show my personality, and then create a platform where I was able to help others.”

“Where I go from here, everything’s a bonus,” Kyrgios said. “I’m playing Laver Cup again, and I’m not going to lie, I think this is my last year I will probably play Laver Cup. There is an amazing amount of talent around the world and amazing personalities. You look at the rookies on the team, [Reilly] Opelka and Felix [Auger-Aliassime] who are incredible, incredible players. Felix, the way he carries himself, I almost see him as a little-brother-type thing. I just want him to continue on the path he’s on. He’s going to do some special things in this sport. There will be distractions that I once fell into that are tough to deal with at times.

“But, yeah, I mean, that’s just the way I feel. As long as I’m on the court, I will try and give my best, but I’m not going to lie and say that I’m going to plan to play four or five more years on tour. That’s just not me.”

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