Kyrgios primed for big-stage showdown

·3-min read

Intent on defying his detractors, Nick Kyrgios readily admits he'll carry a siege mentality into his US Open fourth-round joust with world No.1 and defending champion Daniil Medvedev.

Proving his charge to the Wimbledon final was anything but a flash in the pan, Kyrgios has already exceeded his best-ever run in New York.

But the most polarising figure in tennis craves more and concedes the haters are driving his latest inspired grand slam title tilt.

"As a tennis player, as an athlete, with any profession, you kind of want to be in those moments. Like, I don't want to be playing futures or challengers on back courts with no crowd," the showman said.

"That's not why I play this sport. That's not why I pick up a racquet. I want to be playing on the biggest stadiums in the world in front of millions of people, broadcasted globally.

"That's where I want to be. That is why I work hard. It makes it even sweeter.

"I know a lot of people don't want me to succeed. I know a lot of people hate my game, the way I do things, they way I go about it.

"(But) I'm the only Australian still left on the men's side. It's the same story every time, literally every time in a grand slam.

"I always thrive on it. I never want to forget all the things people say. I always carry this chip on my shoulder. I have it all in the back of my head when I'm playing."

Aside from this US Open campaign and Wimbledon, Alex de Minaur has in fact been Australia's last man standing at many slams in recent seasons.

Still, whatever works for Kyrgios, who has the opportunity to usurp de Minaur as Australian No.1 with another victory over Medvedev on Sunday night (9am Monday AEST).

The 27-year-old can also bump the Russian off his world No.1 perch, with Rafael Nadal poised to return to the top of the rankings if Medvedev loses to Kyrgios.

Kyrgios says he lives for opportunities like this, playing for such high stakes at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"I want to be there. I want to be on prime time. I want to be on that screen, the screen they're all watching. I embrace it," he said.

"Win or lose, I'm proud of how far I've come. I've worked hard to be in the fourth round at the US Open, against Medvedev. I want to be there.

"I think that's where every tennis player wants to be, playing the best players in the world in the best stadiums in the world, getting paid well. I'm looking forward to it."

The Canberran holds a 3-1 lead in the pair's career series, his only defeat a four-set loss at this year's Australian Open and his most recent win over Medvedev coming three weeks ago in Montreal.

The winner will face either Spanish 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta or Russian Karen Khachanov on Tuesday for a semi-final berth.

Kyrgios also remains in the hunt for a second grand slam doubles crown for the year with Thanasi Kokkinakis after the Australian Open champions advanced ominously to round three on Saturday.

Australian women's No.1 Ajla Tomljanovic is also vying for a quarter-final spot, taking on Russian Liudmila Samsonova in the women's fourth round on Sunday.


Men's singles, fourth round

Nick Kyrgios v 1-Daniil Medvedev (RUS) - 9am Monday AEST

Women's singles, fourth round

Ajla Tomljanovic v Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) - about 9am Monday AEST