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“I always root for him, no matter who he’s playing” – Coco Gauff shares her reasons for Kyrgios fandom

The 18-year-old American says she’s rooting for Nick Kyrgios in New York, and gives her reasons why.

Coco Gauff, US Open 2022 Coco Gauff (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Everybody has an opinion on Nick Kyrgios. Many love him, and consider him an inspiration because of his unabashed individuality. Others hate on him constantly, claiming that he disrespects the game.

Coco Gauff has her own opinions on the controversial Aussie, and they are all good.

“I know there’s things on the court that he does that people don’t agree with,” Gauff said on Friday in New York, after defeating Madison Keys in a third-round contest. “I probably don’t agree with some things.”

That’s a sentiment shared by many of Kyrgios’ peers. He’s not a saint after all. But Gauff says there is way more to Kyrgios than meets the eye.

Roger Federer, Nick Kyrgios, Naomi Osaka, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova, Coco Gauff, Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Rafael Nadal pose for a photo at the Rally for Relief charity fund raising night at Rod Laver Arena Image Credit: Zuma / Panoramic
Roger Federer, Nick Kyrgios, Naomi Osaka, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova, Coco Gauff, Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Rafael Nadal pose for a photo at the Rally for Relief charity fund raising night at Rod Laver Arena Image Credit: Zuma / Panoramic

Gauff – People paint him as a bad guy but it just isn’t true

Kyrgios gets his share of negative opinions and social media hate. Probably more than his share. But Gauff says that the public doesn’t have any idea of the type of person he is behind the scenes. She says Kyrgios was more than willing to help her out when she was 13 and 14 years old, and it is something that she’ll never forget.

“Overall I think he’s a nice person,” she said. “At least he’s always been to me. I remember I first hit with him, he probably doesn’t remember this, I was 13 years old at Miami Open. He finished his practice, hit with me for, like, 30 minutes.

“It’s just things like that that stands out for me. That’s why I feel like I can never dislike him.”

Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) reacts during his match vs. opponent Hubert Hurkacz (POL) during the quarter-finals of the National Bank Open at Stade IGA (Icon SMI/Panoramic)

Gauff said she was surprised a year later when Kyrgios made time again to practice with her, even after a two-hour practice of his own.

“Again, when I was 14 at Miami Open again, he finished a two-hour practice,” she said. “I think with Frances Tiafoe. I remember saying, ‘There’s no way he’s going to want to hit with me.’ He just ground it out for two hours. He actually stayed and hit with me for an hour again.”

The 18-year-old American says that to her, Kyrgios more of an angel than a bad guy.

“It’s just moments like that that people don’t really see about him,” she said. “So I think people paint him as a bad guy. I feel around the grounds, at least my experience of him, he’s not. I think in the end it helped me in the long run as a player hitting with him. He told me good things about my game. At that time I’m like, “Nick Kyrgios thinks I’m a good player.’ You start to believe that and gain confidence in that.”

Gauff – He can win the US Open

In addition to being a good friend and hitting partner, Kyrgios is a wild talent that has a good chance to win his first major next week in New York. And Gauff says she’ll be backing him the whole way.

“If he keeps it up, I think he can go far,” she said. “He can win the tournament. We all know he has the ability to. He was close at Wimbledon. I always, always root for him, no matter who he’s playing, to be honest.”

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