John McEnroe waxes lyrical about Nick Kyrgios: ‘The guy is a genius on court and he’s coming into his prime’

Nick Kyrgios pleased

One of the greatest serves in the history, a genius on court and unbelievable tactics are just some of Nick Kyrgios’ on-court qualities that have impressed John McEnroe at the US Open.

Kyrgios is in the form of his life as he followed up his run to the Wimbledon final with the Citi Open singles and doubles titles while he is now also in the quarter-final of the season-ending Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows after pulling off a massive win over defending champion Daniil Medvedev.

Sunday’s four-set win was his second over Medvedev in the space of a month as he also beat the world No 1 at the ATP Masters 1000 Canadian Open in Montreal in August.

Having dropped to outside the top 100 in the ATP Rankings after playing very little tennis last year, Kyrgios is now projected to return to the top 20. And that is despite missing out on 1,200 points for finishing runner-up to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon.

Kyrgios, who has in the past struggled to consistently produce his best, has also experienced this turnaround in fortune without a full-time coach.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion McEnroe is certainly impressed by the Australian.

“First of all, I’ve said this before, the guy has got one of the greatest serves in the history of tennis. The guy was serving at 70% – I don’t think people realise that’s the highest on tour, how big he serves, how good his second serve is – now he is backing it up big time. If he plays like he did last night, he is going to win the tournament,” he said on Eurosport.

“The way Kyrgios is serving, I don’t care where you stand. If you stand well back, did you notice he started serving and volleying. The guy is a genius on the court, he doesn’t need a coach, he did an unbelievable job tactically.

“Medvedev was throwing a lot at him – I was saying Medvedev will play long rallies, test him physically and he’ll win most of those points. Guess what? He didn’t even win most of those [longer] points. When Kyrgios gets down on his opponent’s serve he lets it go a little bit, paces himself, manages himself well but he’s also a lot fitter than he has ever been.

“Nick needs to be comfortable with the team that is around him. It’s a tough job sometimes being in Kyrgios’ box – he’s in such a great place mentally and it’s like ‘he’s figured it out’. He’s 27, he’s coming into his prime. I like him, he moves the needle. I’m glad he turned it around and I am only sad he is not playing in the Laver Cup. We’re still begging.”

Kyrgios confirmed in July that he would not compete in the annual Laver Cup as he will return home to be with his sick parents after the US Open.

The Australian, who reached his maiden US Open quarter-final with his win over Medvedev, will face Karen Khachanov for a place in the semi-final with the match scheduled for Tuesday evening on Arthur Ashe Stadium.