Nick Kyrgios assesses Andrey Rublev’s major chances as he makes Novak Djokovic prediction

Nick Kyrgios looks on

Nick Kyrgios believes that Andrey Rublev is “capable” of winning a Grand Slam title and named the French Open as the major the Russian “might just line up.”

The Australian also predicted that “a bunch of guys” will win Grand Slams when Novak Djokovic retires and joked it is his “tactic” to wait for the Serbian to leave the sport.

Rublev is looking to win his first major title at the 2024 Australian Open, where he will face world No 4 Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

It will be Rublev’s 10th Grand Slam quarter-final and he has lost all nine of his previous last eight encounters – a record in men’s tennis.

The world No 5 has won 15 ATP singles titles, with the biggest coming at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Monte Carlo last year, while he has also won five 500-level events.

Kyrgios, a runner-up at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships, addressed Rublev’s chances of winning a maiden Grand Slam title.

“Well, I just look at some of the other guys, [Carlos] Alcaraz, [Jannik] Sinner, [Daniil] Medvedev. He’s always going to be knocking on the door, he might do it, he’s capable of doing it,” he told Eurosport.

“I think there are some other guys there that I would probably say, ‘Look he’s made the quarter-finals of every Slam, always knocking on the door of titles’, you never know, he might just line up the French [Open] one year.”

The 28-year-old hailed Rublev’s five-set last 16 win over Alex de Minaur and looked ahead to the Russian’s quarter-final match-up with Sinner, which he described as “spicy.”

“Just a great contrast in styles, and personalities of players we’ve got on the tour. Rublev, one of the best ball strikers and ‘Demon’ (de Minaur), a great athlete,” the Australian said.

“The score in the fifth set doesn’t reflect how well he played, Rublev just played a great fifth set. ‘Mr Consistent’ back to the quarter-finals, the 10th quarter-final of a major. And that match-up with Sinner is going to be spicy.”

The former world No 13 argued that the retirement of 24-time major champion Djokovic will see many players claim Grand Slams and joked that this is what he is waiting for.

“I think when Novak decides to pack it all up you’ll see a bunch of guys winning Slams,” Kyrgios declared.

“Secretly that’s my tactic, I’m just waiting for Novak to go, then I’ll go into hibernation, get in the best shape of my life, protected ranking. It’s been my plan all along. Leave me alone Novak.”

Kyrgios, who had predicted Stefanos Tsitsipas would win the title, divulged he is now backing 10-time champion Djokovic after the Serb’s fourth round demolition of Adrian Mannarino.

“Look, I think all the questions have been answered with Novak. The first couple of rounds he’s been struggling, now he’s beaten players like Mannarino… I think Novak for me is now the clear favourite for the AO,” he predicted.

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