Nick Kygrios: "God help me if I am playing tennis at 30"

By Tyson Otto

Australian Nick Kyrgios practices ahead of the 2016 French Open at Roland-Garros stadium. Photo / Getty Images
Australian Nick Kyrgios practices ahead of the 2016 French Open at Roland-Garros stadium. Photo / Getty Images

Tennis loves Nick Kyrgios, but it's a one-sided romance.

The Australian star has previously admitted he would prefer to be a professional basketballer more than his current occupation.

Now, on the eve of the French Open, the world No. 19 has revealed just how real his dissatisfaction is with his chosen profession.

In an interview with The Times before his draw was announced for the Roland Garros grand slam, Kyrgios declared he will walk away from tennis well before he turns 30.

The 21-year-old is certain of it.

"There is zero chance that Nick Kyrgios will be playing tennis when he's 30-years-old," Kyrgios told the London newspaper.

"There's absolutely no chance. I don't know how long my career will be but God help me if I am playing tennis at 30. There are so many more things to this world than tennis for me.

Not tennis at 30. Please."

He suggested he feels legitimate regret over his decision to select tennis over basketball at the age of 14.
"When I was 14 I had to pick," he said.

"My parents were pretty strong pushing me into tennis. They probably thought it was easier to make it in tennis. I definitely liked basketball a lot better. But it didn't work out too badly, I guess."

He said he regularly finds himself getting bored on court and needs to find alternative motivations to keep him interested in tennis.

It's the thing that makes him the most fascinating player on the ATP Tour and simultaneously one of the most criticised.

The Wimbledon and Australian Open quarter-finalist admitted his habit of playing trick shots and attempting low-percentage booming winners regularly has a negative impact on his performance.

But he doesn't care.

The issue is real enough for him to have consulted with sports psychologists, but not important enough - in his mind at least - to continue to work with them.

"I have seen a couple (sports psychologists)," he said.

"But I can't really focus for long enough. I can't really take it seriously. They are trying to find what fuels you, motivates you. But it's tough. One week I am motivated, one week I am not. So I walked away. Not my thing.

"Sometimes I get too creative when I should keep it simple. One of my coaches always used to say, 'When people watch you, you don't have to try and go for that extra shot'.
"It keeps me entertained and wanting to play."

Kyrgios begins his French Open campaign against Italy's world No. 124 Marco Cecchinato, however, one eye will already be looking forward to a highly-anticipated third round blockbuster against Richard Gasquet who enjoys a 4-2 head-to-head record in their ATP Tour rivalry.

- news.com.au

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