Australian tennis legend Wally Masur is urging Nick Kyrgios to ditch his best pal Thanasi Kokkinakis and focus only on singles if he wants to achieve Grand Slam glory
Australian tennis star Wally Masur believes Nick Kyrgios’ hopes of lifting an elusive first Grand Slam crown rest on him retiring from double duty.
The 27-year-old was eliminated from the US Open in dramatic fashion on Tuesday, losing a five-set thriller 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7 6-4 to Karen Khachanov in the quarterfinals.
Kyrgios lost the match and his temper and was fined $20,700 by ATP officials after smashing two racquets in an epic meltdown by even his own standards at the end of the match.
Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis are eliminated in the third round at the US Open
The Australian berated his own box as he complained about a knee problem that forced him to take a medical time-out.
“I don’t want to play through that shit,” he told his support box.
Kyrgios may regret playing doubles alongside close friend Thanasi Kokkinakis in New York.
The Australian duo, ranked at No. 8 in the world, lost in three sets to Britain’s Lloyd Glasspool and Finland’s Harri Heliovaara in the third round.
Kyrgios lost to Karen Khachanov 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-7, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the US Open
Shortly after his defeat, Kyrgios Khachanov shook hands and smashed his racquet
It seemed a great tournament to win for Kyrgios as the draw had opened up for him
Masur suggested that competition on two fronts could have cost Kyrgios’ chances of success, especially given the short break between games – their third-round defeat came 24 hours before Kyrgios’ quarterfinals match against Khachanov.
“If the workload is too much and you’re playing the better players in week two, there’s a price to pay,” he told Stan Sport.
“He loves playing with Thanasi, they are the Australian Open winners, he brings a lot of energy to the tournament but there were eight extra doubles.
“I’m not saying that’s why and I’m really happy he played doubles, but it’s very difficult for a high-level singles player who can win a Slam to play both events.”
Kyrgios was given a medical time-out after the first set and was heard saying, “I can’t walk.”
Wally Masur believes Kyrgios should consider retiring from doubles and focus on singles
After losing in four sets to Novak Djokovic in his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon in July, the Australian emerged as a potential dark horse to lift the US Open title.
An already open field due to Djokovic’s absence due to his refusal to get vaccinated against Covid-19 became even more unpredictable after Rafael Nadal lost in the round of 16 on Monday.
Playing what he described as the best tennis of his career, Kyrgios looked like a deep run in New York after eliminating defending US Open champion and current world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev on Sunday.
And Kyrgios admitted to being “devastated” after Khachanov dashed his hopes.
“I honestly feel like shit. I feel like I let so many people down,” he said.
‘[I] Just came out flat [and] didn’t feel good physically. Then towards the end of the game I felt great.
“I’m obviously devastated. But all credit goes to Karen. He’s a fighter. He is a warrior.”