John McEnroe ‘loves smart’ Nick Kyrgios’ ‘professionalism’, saying ‘he doesn’t even need a coach!’
John McEnroe has described Nick Kyrgios as “one of the smartest people I have ever seen – on and off the court” following the Australian’s run to the Wimbledon final.
For years Kyrgios was accused of wasting his talent and being unprofessional with many suggesting he would never come close to winning big titles. Yet, the controversial 27-year-old finds himself in a Grand Slam final.
Although he reached the final on the back of Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal from their semi-final clash, there was nothing lucky about his run over the fortnight as he upset fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a heated third-round encounter and also won two five-setters.
And he has done it without a mentor in his box as he has been without a full-time coach since 2017, something which has impressed seven-time Grand Slam winner McEnroe.
“[Kyrgios] in better shape than I’ve seen in six, seven years,” the tennis great said on the BBC. “He’s being professional; I love it!
“He’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever seen – on and off the court. He’s so smart on the court, he doesn’t even need a coach!”
Nadal pulled out of the semi-final after he aggravated his abdominal injury during his win over Taylor Fritz and McEnroe suggested the 22-time Grand Slam winner would have risked playing if he didn’t have to face Kyrgios.
“Rafa being the fighter that he always is, decides to play and wins. Was it going to get significantly worse? I don’t know the answer to that,” he said.
“Could he have played? He beat Taylor Fritz at 80%. He was serving at 100mph most of the match.
“[But Kyrgios] is dominating Wimbledon in a lot of ways. His play… some of the goings-on, his history, his talent do you really think Rafa wanted to play him at 80%?
“Something tells me he didn’t want to do that.”
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