Nick Kyrgios rips Elina Svitolina as ugly tennis feud with Boris Becker re-ignited

The Aussie tennis player has dropped a number of bombshells in the last week.

Nick Kyrgios, Elina Svitolina and Boris Becker.
Nick Kyrgios has called out Elina Svitolina and Boris Becker. Image: Getty

Nick Kyrgios has dragged Elina Svitolina into a debate about equal prize money in tennis, while also re-igniting a years-long feud with Boris Becker. The Aussie tennis player has dropped a number of bombshells over the last week - most notably that he won't be ready to make his return at the Australian Open in January.

He also made eye-opening comments that he'll only be playing tennis for "one or two more years", before taking a swipe at both Svitolina and Becker. In an interview with The Athletic, Kyrgios was asked for his thoughts on men and women receiving the same prize money at the four grand slams - which came into effect in 2017.

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The former World No.13 replied: "I played for four hours at the AO (Australian Open), then Svitolina played for like 40 minutes and we both got paid the same." It's not clear which Australian Open Kyrgios is referring to, but his figures are a little out if he means the 2022 tournament (which is the last time they both played the grand slam in Melbourne).

That year, Kyrgios spent just under five hours on court after a win over Liam Broady in the first round and loss to Daniil Medvedev in the second. As for Svitolina, she spent considerably more time on the court than '40 minutes'.

The Ukrainian beat Fiona Ferro in one hour and 32 minutes, before taking two hours and seven minutes to get past Harmony Tan. Her run was ended by Victoria Azarenka in the third round in a match that lasted one hour and seven minutes - bringing her total to four hours and 46 minutes spent on the court.

Elina Svitolina, pictured here at the Australian Open in 2022.
Elina Svitolina at the Australian Open in 2022. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Nick Kyrgios re-ignites war of words with Boris Becker

Not content with ripping Svitolina, Kyrgios also took aim at German great Becker. Kyrgios and Becker had an ugly war of words in 2020, and the beef has been re-ignited this week.

The Aussie said it was "absurd" that past players like Becker believe they could still compete at ATP level in the modern game. "The game was so slow back then," he said in the same interview.

"I've watched Boris Becker and I'm not saying they weren't good in their time, but to say that they would be just as good now, it's absurd. A big serve back then was like 197 to 200 (km/h). People like me, we serve 220 consistently, to corners. It's a whole different ball game. But serve and volley, to do it all the time now, you need to be serving 220, because if you serve anything less than 220, bro, Djokovic eats you alive."

Boris Becker.
Boris Becker watching Alexander Zverev play Nick Kyrgios in the Davis Cup in 2018. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Becker didn't take kindly to the comments and fired back on social media. "Nick makes a lot of noise about tennis lately!?! Why does he speak about a sport he apparently hates," the six-time grand slam champion wrote, referencing Kyrgios' remarks that he doesn't want to play anymore but does it for his family.

"Fact-check Nick has never won a major championship as a player or coach ... so where is any credibility coming from?' Speak to your OnlyFans about many things but [not] tennis!!!"

Kyrgios later replied: "One thing is for sure I'm not gonna be sitting here in 20-30 years time, claiming that I could compete and compare to the new kids on the block. It's definitely an ego thing."

Kyrgios also claimed Lleyton Hewitt made Pete Sampras "look like s**t" in the US Open final in 2001 with his serve-volley game. He added: "And what would Djokovic do to someone like Sampras? It would be a cleanup. If Hewitt was doing it, Djokovic would destroy him. He would eat him alive."

Becker hit back with: "Trying to compare generations… Laver v Federer, Borg v Nadal, Sampras v Djokovic!?! I am not even gonna mention McEnroe, Conners, Lendl, Agassi, Courier, Edberg, Wilander, Kuerten, Bruguera, Rafter, Hewitt and many more."

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