Nick Kyrgios has explained why he wouldn’t bring a coach into his team despite choosing to be more professional. The world No 19 has famously been without a mentor for the majority of his career but was able to enjoy his best-ever season last year where he reached the final of Wimbledon and won a doubles Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. While Kyrgios isn’t up for having a coach, he credited girlfriend Costeen Hatzi for her positive influence.
Kyrgios is yet to get his season underway following a career-best year in 2022, which saw him reach his maiden Grand Slam final, win a seventh singles title and taste doubles success by winning the Australian Open with Thanasi Kokkinakis, helping them qualify for their ATP Finals debut. But he has been sidelined after undergoing knee surgery, with his only appearance coming in a charity match against Novak Djokovic ahead of the Australian Open.
While the Aussie remains out of action, he has still been keeping busy with an appearance on Logan Paul’s podcast Impaulsive, where he discussed a number of aspects about his career and life on the tour. And the world No 19 also addressed one of the big elephants in the room when it comes to his own team – his lack of a coach.
The seven-time title winner spent part of the podcast telling Paul and co-hosts Mike Majlak and George Janko that he saw tennis as a “hobby” and added: “I’m probably the most unprofessional tennis player. I don’t warm up or anything,” before admitting that he turned things around in 2022 and started acting professionally.
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When Paul quizzed the 27-year-old over why he got so drawn into matches despite claiming he saw the sport as a hobby, Kyrgios responded: “I think last year was the most serious that I’ve been about tennis, like I put in daily training, got to sleep, didn’t party. I just went about it more as a professional so I took it way more seriously.”
The world No 19 also explained that it was just part of his competitive nature to not want to lose, adding: “I feel like when I’m out there, I do want to win out there, anyone that says they don’t want to win is lying.” He also had other reasons for his improved form as he continued: “I think last year like obviously I’ve got a girlfriend now who I see long term, there’s a lot more things that I’m trying to create and I’ve had a lot more business opportunities as well from the last year.
“But I think in the past there would be clips of me losing and not really caring so much and that alludes to me not training as hard. But last year I don’t think I had one match like that where I didn’t care as much.” Kyrgios did admit that he could have been even more professional by hiring a coach, but explained why he didn’t want to put someone “through” working with him and said his team was now too tight to add someone new.
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“I think last year was the best year of my career, big time. And I always knew that if I really put my mind to it. I did everything last year without a coach as well, I still feel like I could take it to that next level of professionalism but I can’t look like that,” he said.
Kyrgios was asked whether there was an option to find a coach that understood his habits, but he said: “I wouldn’t want to put them through that. Some days I just don’t feel like playing. They can’t. I’ve had coaches before and it’s been okay.” And the 27-year-old also had another big reason for not wanting a mentor, admitting that his team was too secure to change.
“I just think for me it’s really hard to bring someone on your team, especially now. Everything I’ve created has been like my best friend, a tight-knit group. I just can’t bring someone else into the team now. It’s just too far gone,” he explained. As for his girlfriend’s influence, Kyrgios concluded: “I think she definitely played a part in it. I don’t think I listen to her but I feel like she gave me confidence. Just things like that, just being present at times and saying like ‘you’ve got the talent here, you can go this far’ when I’ve lost a bit of belief in myself.”
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