Novak Djokovic clearly wants to see more from Nick Kyrgios after the Australian's historic double title win at the Citi Open in Washington earlier this week.
While the pair have more commonly been known to butt heads over the years, it would seem this year's Wimbledon final between the pair has represented a newfound cameraderie.
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It's come as Kyrgios has put together arguably one of his most consistent seasons to date, despite only remaining ranked 37th in the world due to Wimbledon being stripped of ranking points.
The Wimbledon run may have sparked something in Kyrgios, who remarked after losing the final that he finally belonged among the tennis elite after what had been a promising career that, to that point, had not quite delivered on his enormous potential.
Curiously, Kyrgios admitted after Wimbledon that a win would have seen him seriously contemplate retiring - though his continued good form since the grasscourt grand slam has made Djokovic sit up and take notice.
Kyrgios commented on a post of Djokovic's on Instagram a few weeks ago in which the Serbian champion was practicing the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira as part of his training.
Djokovic made reference to that comment in congratulating Kyrgios on Instagram, predicting an addition to his own training regimen could yield grand slam success.
"Congrats man! What a week! Just add Capoeira training to your regimen and you will get a Grand Slam!" Djokovic wrote on Instagram.
Kyrgios had previously joked that if taking up the martial art was what was required for grand slam success, he was never going to win one.
— Spectacular 🎾 done quietly by Nole 🐐♥️🐊 🎾🇿🇦 (@mpshe_shamai) August 8, 2022
Djokovic has been absent for the North American hardcourt swing, having been barred from entering the US and Canada due to his continued refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
With Djokovic set to be absent from the US Open later this year, some obervers believe the stage has been set for Kyrgios to make a grand slam breakthrough.
Djokovic's absence at US Open an opportunity for Nick Kyrgios
Andy Roddick has made the staggering call that Kyrgios will be among the top three contenders to win the US Open title.
Not content with winning the singles crown for the second time in his career, Kyrgios backed up to also win the doubles title a few hours later with Jack Sock.
According to Roddick, the fact that Kyrgios won both titles is a telling hint that the Aussie is at his supreme best both physically and mentally.
“It’s a big, big deal to me that he goes into Washington, which is a pretty big event in the lead-up to the U.S. Open,” Roddick said on The Rich Eisen Show.
“Brutal conditions....To go through singles and doubles and not to tap out mentally or physically is a big, big sign.
“I think it puts him into the top two, maybe three, favourites for the US Open.”
Kyrgios moved up to World No.37 when the rankings were updated on Monday, putting him on the cusp of an all-important top-32 seeding for the US Open.
With tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati still to be played before the final grand slam of the year kicks off on August 29, Kyrgios looks certain to move up the rankings further and be seeded in New York.
According to British tennis writer Stuart Fraser, Kyrgios' rivals will be breathing a sigh of relief if he is seeded because it means they won't have to face him in the early rounds.
“Whether Kyrgios is seeded or not at the US Open, he will be considered a contender after showing at Wimbledon that he has what it takes to come through several consecutive matches in the extended best-of-five-set format,” Fraser said.
“A potential second-round meeting with Medvedev in Montreal this week would help to determine where exactly he will sit on the bookmakers’ list.”
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