ATP

'I don't think it's healthy' – Kyrgios doubles down on retirement claim

By Sports Desk December 22, 2022

Nick Kyrgios has doubled down on the claim he will retire if he wins a grand slam next year, saying years of intensive travel have left him "exhausted".

Kyrgios enjoyed the best grand slam run of his career when he finished as runner-up to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon this year, while he also reached the last eight at the US Open.

However, the Australian questioned his future in the sport earlier this week, telling reporters in Dubai: "Hopefully I can win a slam and just retire."

Speaking to Eurosport, the world number 22 insisted that remark was serious, saying his private life had suffered due to his time spent travelling to take part in ATP Tour events. 

Asked if he would really call time on his career in the event of winning a first major singles title, Kyrgios said: "Honestly, I probably would.

"Especially being from Australia as well, there's just so much travel, so much time away from family, so much time away from friends. 

"You're just missing milestones in the family, you're just not having a normal life, really. No other tennis player that's not from Australia gets that."

Kyrgios believes few athletes can match the sacrifices he has made in his career, citing the strain caused by spending long periods away from his home country. 

"It's easy for a European or an American player to lose or win a tournament, then you take a five-hour flight back home and you spend a week there before the next event," Kyrgios said.

"Whereas as an Australian, you're doing four- to seven-month travel blocks. Honestly, I don't think it's healthy. 

"No other real athlete does that in the world, in any sport, doing seven months on your own. 

"I'm exhausted honestly. It's just stressful. The more you win, the more success you have, the more demands you have off the court. People expect more from you. 

"People are like, 'why are you complaining about it?' It's not what they think. You're living out of a suitcase at hotels, it's not like you're on holiday. 

"You've got to go to tennis courts and train. The lifestyle is quite vigorous. If it happens, I probably would [retire], to be honest."

Kyrgios has only reached the last eight at the Australian Open on one occasion, and with the next edition of his home slam approaching, the 27-year-old is less than enthusiastic.

Asked if he will feel refreshed by the time the Melbourne major begins next month, Kyrgios said: "Probably not. There is a little bit of excitement, but it's probably 95 per cent stress, five per cent excitement, to be honest."

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