Nick Kyrgios: “I’m a bad guy”
Kyrgios took responsibility for his performance in his post-match press conference. He blamed poor off-season preparation and aimed some tongue-and-cheek remarks at John McEnroe, who has been scathing in his criticism about Kyrgios on ESPN.
Attention has also been drawn to poor match habits, such as the fact that Kyrgios doesn’t change racquets to receive new balls during matches, a common tactic used by other elite players to give them minute advantages.
Kyrgios was dominant in his first round match, winning in three sets, and looked to be well in control after 2 sets. Pain flaring up during the 3rd set let to a loss of concentration that allowed Seppi back into the match as Kyrgios shouted obscenities at his team of supporters.
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF NICK KYRGIOS’ POST-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE:
Q. What’s the emotions like half an hour after that?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it’s obviously disappointing. But, you know, it was ultimately a pretty fun match. He’s a great guy and he deserved it, so… I’m not going to beat myself up about it.
Obviously, yeah, I mean, could have gone either way really.
Q. Is it disappointing to be booed by the crowd at the end when you feel like you feel you’re trying your best out there?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yes, obviously it’s not the greatest thing to hear. I didn’t have the best preparation coming into the Australian Open. Pretty banged up, my body. You know, I don’t even know what the score was in the end. Was it ten-8? 10-8 in the fifth, getting booed off, definitely not the best feeling.
Q. John McEnroe has said he didn’t think you were trying at the end. Were you trying?
NICK KYRGIOS: Well, my body was sore. I was hurting. I mean, John McEnroe, was it John McEnroe? Good on him. Great career. Good on him.
Q. What exactly happened when you were up two sets, 3-2, 15-Love, when suddenly Seppi plays a drop shot, you run, you don’t reach the ball, make the mistake, and you start yelling? The umpire decides to give you a warning. Since then the match changed completely. Why were you so furious? You were up so easily.
NICK KYRGIOS: I don’t know, I just lost three sets. That’s what happened. I ended up losing.
Q. You seemed to be talking to your box about your conditioning, that you’ve done too much. What was that about?
NICK KYRGIOS: Poor management, I guess. I think I didn’t have the best preparation. It’s on me. Did a couple things in the off-season that I’m probably not going to do next time. It’s on me, I guess. My body’s not in good enough shape. You live and you learn.
Q. What would you not do again?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don’t know, maybe just not play as much basketball. Actually take my pre-season seriously.
Q. What’s been the immediate reaction from your team after the match?
NICK KYRGIOS: Obviously disappointment. You know, it hurts. It hurts me to see them, they got families, they’re sacrificing their time trying to get me over the line. It’s tough. It’s tough.
Q. What was the impact with playing a lot of basketball on your body?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don’t know. It was fun. I love to play. Hurt my knee.
Q. Is the plan still to play doubles with Dan Evans tomorrow?
NICK KYRGIOS: I’m probably not going to play. My body’s pretty messed up. You know, he won today. Great win. He’s playing great. Probably not the worst thing for him. He’s got a good opportunity to go far. We’re good mates. I’m sure he’ll understand.
Q. Is it the knee?
NICK KYRGIOS: I’m feeling a lot of things. But, yeah, the knee’s probably the main cause of it.
Q. Was it a sharp pain out there?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don’t know, mate. Ask Johnny Mack.
NICK KYRGIOS: He knows everything.
Q. (Question about the slow serve.)
NICK KYRGIOS: I don’t know. I always serve like that.
Q. What was going through your mind in the last set? Shaking your head a lot as you were sitting down there.
NICK KYRGIOS: A lot of emotions. You know, you’re close to winning. A lot of emotions.
Yeah, just a lot of stuff’s going through my head at that stage. Like, I’m disappointed. I’m okay. Like, I’m all right. You know, the world keeps spinning. I lost one match.
Q. You talked about your preparation not being that good. In the future, how can you change that? Getting a team or a coach or…
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I mean, the coach is always a question mark for me. I think that’s one area where I obviously need to start taking a bit more seriously. I mean, I don’t think there’s anyone in the top 100 without a coach except for me. That needs to change.
Got to start taking it more seriously. Pre-season is an important part of the year. You build foundations for the rest of the year. Yeah, it’s on me.
Q. Were you always up against it physically or did you convince yourself you were fine for this tournament?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I was always up against it, I guess, yeah.
Q. You talk about your body. Do you attribute that loss to physical problems or the mental side of the game?
NICK KYRGIOS: I think it’s mental. Mental side of things are big for me. That’s where a coach would be good. But obviously I wasn’t physically 100%. But it’s mental, as well. A massive part of it.
But, I mean, he played well, as well. Thought he served great today. I got a lot of respect for him. He fights hard. He deserved it.
Q. Talking about the impact on your team, have you apologised to them or explained yourself afterwards?
NICK KYRGIOS: You know, I think there’s a lot of players on tour in the heat of the moment sort of argue or give bad words to their box or anything. But they understand. They know that I love them. It’s all that matters really.
Q. Is there a particular coach that you have in mind that you’d like to work with?
NICK KYRGIOS: I’m not going to answer that.
Q. Is it too soon to start thinking about Davis Cup?
NICK KYRGIOS: Far too soon. Far too soon. I hope I can play, though. I love playing for Rusty. He’s always been there for me. Hopefully I can play, but we’ll see. There’s a lot of good players at the moment who can fill in for my spot and maybe do a better job.
Q. How do you describing, you feel like you’re sort of the one getting in your own way?
NICK KYRGIOS: That’s how I feel. That’s how it’s been my whole career really. I put my head down, want it. But things happen. It’s just me not being able to be consistent, not really wanting it. Stuff like that happens. So, yeah.
Q. Was it tonight’s events that made you realise you need a coach or did you already know that?
NICK KYRGIOS: I knew that for a long time. I kind of like the freedom of just going out there, doing whatever, going with the flow a little bit.
I just like being comfortable.
Q. Do you think, this in a way, could be a good lesson for you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah.
Q. Talking to one of the spectators today encouraging you.
NICK KYRGIOS: Awesome.
Q. I was asking him about the negative reaction that you get in the media. He said the media overdramatises it. Do you feel a bit like Donald Trump?
NICK KYRGIOS: No. I deserve it. I deserve it. I’m a bad guy.
Q. Are you still consulting a sports psychologist?
NICK KYRGIOS: I am. It’s going very well.
Q. Is that in person here this week or just over the phone?
NICK KYRGIOS: Johnny Mack will know, mate. Just talk to him. He knows everything.
Q. Will you go away from tennis awhile, a week, rehab, get your mental state where you need it to be?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, most likely I’ll probably take a couple days off. Yeah, I’ll obviously talk to my team now and see what the plan is.
But, yeah, I’m pretty hungry. Just get some food, have a sleep, and we’ll see tomorrow.
– Transcript courtesy of ASAP Sports