Melbourne: Nick Kyrgios has claimed tennis has embraced Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the expense of other personalities in the game, and that the sport is now paying for it.
The outspoken Australian star said over the last decade or so an over-emphasis on the “Big Three”, who have dominated the four Grand Slams, is coming back to bite the game.
Nadal is the only one of the Grand Slam kings playing in Melbourne this fortnight with Djokovic back home in Serbia after being deported over vaccination issues and Federer injured.
“I think they have really only marketed three players for the last decade and now it’s kind of caught up with them,” Kyrgios said after his latest doubles win with Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Kyrgios was knocked out of the Australian Open by Daniil Medvedev in an explosive second round match but has reached the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles with Kokkinakis, with home fans clamouring to watch their matches.
“Tennis has really struggled to embrace different personalities, like when people go about it differently,” Kyrgios said.
“I think tennis needs to embrace that more. You look at the match against me and Medvedev, you couldn’t have two polar opposite kind of personalities going up against it.
“But the actual quality of tennis was still to a pretty good level and it was fun to watch. I think tennis just needs to push that I think, a lot. Otherwise”
Kokkinakis, sitting alongside him at their post-match conference, added “Dying.”