‘No way’: Nick Kyrgios takes aim at tennis legends

Nick Kyrgios says there's 'no way' Sampras, McEnroe, Agassi would survive tennis today

Source: YouTube/Impaulsive

Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios has ripped into some of the sport’s best-known veterans in a bombshell appearance with YouTuber Logan Paul.

Kyrgios took a jab at legends Pete Sampras, John McEnroe and Andre Agassi, saying there was “no way” they could survive today’s game, in a chat with Paul on his Impaulsive podcast.

Kyrgios’ chat was filmed in Sydney on February 13, while Paul was in Australia to promote his Prime energy drink – attracting thousands of fans keen to get a glimpse of the influencer.

The discussion, released on Wednesday, arose as Kyrgios and Paul debated who might be the greatest basketball player of all time. As the conversation shifted to tennis, Paul asked Kyrgios asked who he considered the tennis GOAT – the Greatest of All Time.

“[Roger] Federer and [NBA legend Michael] Jordan are very similar,” Kyrgios, a noted basketball fan, said.

“But I think Novak [Djokovic] statistically is better.”

The Impaulsive hosts then prodded Kyrgios for his thoughts on Sampras, McEnroe and Agassi. The 27-year-old Canberra star is yet to win as grand slam singles title, while Sampras won 14, McEnroe seven and Agassi eight.

But Kyrgios shot down the suggestion the trio would still rank among today’s top players.

“No way,” he said with the shake of his head.

“Because I think Jordan could play in this era, whereas those guys would get absolutely snipped in this era.”

But Kyrgios, who worked with McEnroe when the pair represented Team World at the Laver Cup, said his views were nothing personal. McEnroe was a “good guy”, he said – “but crazy though”.

Nick Kyrgios

McEnroe and Kyrgios at the 2019 Laver Cup. Photo: Getty

Conspiracy theories

Kyrgios didn’t hold back in the wide-ranging interview, discussing everything from his on-court behaviour to conspiracy theories.

He even expressed doubts about the legitimacy of Egypt’s pyramids.

“I don’t think the pyramids are man made. They’re not man made, I don’t think so,” he said.

His thoughts were met by enthusiasm by Paul and his co-hosts.

“[There’s] no way,” Paul agreed. “How do they line up in perfect symmetry all around the Earth?”

One of Paul’s co-hosts then suggested the moon landings were faked – another comment that drew support from Kyrgios.

“America weren’t apparently even close to having anything successfully going up there, right?” Kyrgios said.

Drinking ‘five, six times a week’

The tennis star also opened up about dark times in his career, detailing his struggles with mental health and alcohol abuse.

“About four years ago I was drinking five, six times a week and still competing at the highest level, which was really unhealthy,” he said.

“I would just be like, I’ve got to play Nadal in a couple hours, or Tsitsipas or these top guys. It’s just not sustainable.”

He said that, while he still enjoyed a casual drink, he was “under more control”, in part thanks to his girlfriend of 14 months, Costeen Hatzi.

“I felt like I was ready to move into the next phase of my life. Like, I’m turning 28,” he said.

Kyrgios also credited Ms Hatzi with helping him to play what he considers the best tennis of his career.

“I feel like she gave me confidence … Just being present at times and saying, you know, ‘You’ve got the talent here. You can actually go this far’,” he said.

The podcast interview was recorded just over a week after Kyrgios had an assault charge dismissed by a magistrate after he pleaded guilty to shoving his ex-girlfriend, Chiara Passari,  in 2021.

Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios and girlfriend Costeen Hatzi at the 2022 Australian Open. Photo: Getty

No coach, no worries

Kyrgios, who is in rehab following recent surgery that ruled him out of the Australian Open, has a somewhat unorthodox approach to his training.

He has no coach, and said that – even though one might help him play even better – he wanted to do things his own way.

“I haven’t had a coach for, like, five or six years,” he said.

“I still feel like I could take it to that next level of professionalism.

“But I can’t live like that … I just want to put [a coach] through that. Some days I just don’t feel like playing.”

While Kyrgios hopes a grand slam title is on the horizon, he admitted winning one might bring on another bombshell decision.

He revealed that if he had won his 2022 Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic, he would have stepped away from tennis – at least for a few seasons.

“That was really my chance,” he said. “Honestly if I won, I think I would retire – at least for a year or two.”

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