Nick Kyrgios has made a shock admission about his playing future in the wake of his defeat to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final earlier this month.
Kyrgios pushed 21-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic all the way in his first grand slam final at the All England Club.
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However, the Aussie came up just short after going down to the Serb in a four-set thriller.
Speaking ahead of this week's Atlanta Open, Kyrgios suggested that the loss may have been a blessing in disguise insofar as extending the 27-year-old's tennis career.
The World No.45 admitted that had he beaten Djokovic and won a maiden grand slam title at Wimbledon, the motivation to keep competing may not have been there anymore.
"I think every tennis player that picks up a racquet one day wants to win Wimbledon. I think Wimbledon is the biggest title ever," Kyrgios said.
"I even had a chat with my team, that I thought if I won Wimbledon, I'd really struggle after that for motivation.
"I really don't know what more I would have to prove as a tennis player."
Kyrgios says his run to the Wimbledon final has taught him a valuable lesson about the extraordinary mental strength required to win a grand slam title.
"You can lose a grand slam in a day, but you can't win one," he added.
"It takes so many days. You know, you play a match and you have a day off, then you play again and then have a day off, like it's the mental capacity to keep doing the same things over and over again for two weeks at the highest level.
"There's so many different things, intangibles. You might be feeling sick one day, like I fell sick before I played (Filip) Krajinovic. Your body is hurting, mentally. I couldn't sleep for two days after Rafa pulled out.
The Aussie says the experience has made him appreciate just how mentally strong his greatest rivals on the ATP Tour really are.
"You just have to be a mental animal to win a Grand Slam. Novak (Djokovic), (Roger) Federer, and (Rafael) Nadal, I think I give them a bit more respect now."
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis on Atlanta collision course
Kyrgios got his first taste of grand slam success after teaming up with compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis to win the Australian Open doubles title in January.
Curiously, the two could come face-to-face at the Atlanta Open hard court tournament, after finding themselves on the same side of the draw in the ATP 250 event.
Kyrgios kicks off his campaign against a qualifier later in the week, while Kokkinakis faces American Andres Martin.
If both Aussies win those matches they will face each other in the round of 16, with a potential quarter-final against fellow Aussie Alex de Minaur also on the cards.
American top top seed Reilly Opelka will take on either Ilya Ivashka or Quentin Halys in the second round with fifth seed Tommy Paul and wildcard Jack Sock also in his section.
Defending champion and second seed John Isner faces either Ben Shelton or a qualifier in his opener with fellow Americans Frances Tiafoe (4), Jenson Brooksby (6) and Brendon Nakashima (8) also in the same half of the draw.
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