Nick Kyrgios has unloaded on his fellow tennis stars in an explosive new interview.
Speaking with tennis writer Ben Rothenberg on the No Challenges Remaining podcast at the Italian Open, the Aussie was asked for his thoughts about some of the biggest names in the game.
And he didn’t hold back, saying Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic showed him no respect, while claiming he “can’t stand” the latter.
Kyrgios said Djokovic has a “sick obsession with being liked”, slamming the “cringeworthy” way he celebrates victories.
He also predicted the World No.1 would surpass Roger Federer’s record grand slam haul, but would never be the GOAT because he can’t seem to beat Kyrgios, even though Kyrgios spends next to no time training.
As for Nadal, the Aussie addressed his recent war of words with the Spanish great, who labelled Kyrgios ‘disrespectful’ after a controversial match in Mexico in February.
Here’s some of Kyrgios’ most extraordinary comments:
“He’s my polar opposite, like literally my polar opposite. And he’s super salty.
“Every time I’ve beaten him … when he wins, it’s fine. He won’t say anything bad, he’ll credit the opponent, ‘He was a great player’. But as soon as I beat him, it’s just like, ‘He has no respect for me, my fans and no respect to the game’.
“And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? I literally played this way when I beat you the other previous times and nothing changed, nothing changed. When you beat me in Rome here a couple of years ago, nothing changed; I was the same person’.
“It’s not a good look for you, I feel. And then Uncle Toni came out saying, ‘He lacks education’. I’m like, ‘Bra, I did 12 years at school, you idiot. I’m very educated. I understand that you’re upset I beat your family again’.”
“I just feel like he has a sick obsession with wanting to be liked. He just wants to be like Roger. For me personally – I don’t care right now, I’ve come this far – I feel like he just wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him.
“This whole celebration thing that he does after matches, it’s like so cringeworthy. It’s very cringeworthy.
“He’s an unbelievable player, he’s a champion of the sport; one of the greatest we’ll ever see. He probably will, honestly, I reckon he will get the Grand Slam count, I reckon he will overpass Federer.
“No matter how many Grand Slams he wins, he will never be the greatest for me. Simply because, I’ve played him twice and like, I’m sorry, but if you can’t beat me, you’re not the greatest of all time.”
“Verdasco drives me nuts, man. That guy … I don’t even want to talk about it.
“It gets me so vexed, I’m like angry now that I just hear that name. He’s the most arrogant person ever.
“He doesn’t say hello, he thinks he’s so good, he thinks he’s God’s gift. Dude, your backhand’s pretty average and let’s be honest, you hit a ball over a net.
“Guy’s like that, they drive me insane. There’s no humility there, there’s no perspective, it’s just like, ‘I’m here, I’m so cool, I’m unbelievable because I hit a ball over the net. Do this for me, do this for me, I won’t say hello to you, I’m too important’.”
Listen to Kyrgios’ full interview here.