‘Nick Kyrgios can fill void with Roger Federer retired, Rafael Nadal busted, Andy Murray playing with one hip’

Shahida Jacobs
Nick Kyrgios antics
Nick Kyrgios antics during a match

Novak Djokovic remains the man to beat, but “there are opportunities” for Nick Kyrgios to win major tournaments now that “the Big Four have been pretty much dismantled”.

That is the view of tennis coach and television commentator Wally Masur as he has suggested that Kyrgios can fill the void left by Roger Federer’s retirement and Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray’s ongoing injury woes.

Kyrgios was left devastated at the start of the 2023 season when he was forced to miss the Australian Open as he required surgery on his knee.

After several failed attempted comebacks, he finally returned to action in June but ended up playing only one match – a first-round defeat at the Stuttgart Open – before calling it quits again. He also missed Wimbledon and the US Open before pulling the plug on his season.

Some have suggested he has lost motivation and retirement might not be too far away, but Kyrgios himself has posted several training videos and photos on social media, indicating that he is determined to make a comeback.

Former Australia Davis Cup captain Masur is hopeful Kyrgios will make a comeback as he feels the 28-year-old is “crucial” for world tennis while he also believes he can win big events in the absence of Federer, and with Nadal and Murray struggling with injury.

“I honestly don’t know [what his plans are]. I’ve heard that he’s been training and doing rehab in Canberra,” the former world No 15 said.

“Roger [Federer] has retired, Rafa [Nadal] is a little busted and Andy [Murray] is playing with one hip, so the Big Four have been pretty much dismantled, although Novak [Djokovic] is obviously still there, so there are opportunities [for Kyrgios to come back and win big events].

“I thought it might have been the next group of Taylor Fritz and Stefanos Tsitsipas, but Carlos Alcaraz has been the one who has busted through and emerged.

“Can Nick come back and play a part in all this? Absolutely, because anyone who serves like he does is always competitive. He might even have the best serve in the game right now.

“Can he do it? Yes, but it probably comes down to motivation and making sure his body doesn’t let him down.

“He’s pretty crucial for Australian and world tennis, so it would be good to have him back.”

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