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Nick Kyrgios credits ‘chip on his shoulder’ for form ahead of US Open clash with Daniil Medvedev

Nick Kyrgios always seemed to have a ‘chip on his shoulder’ – but the Aussie tennis star says that’s why he played ahead of a blockbuster US Open fourth-round clash with world number one Daniil Medvedev is in the best Grand Slam form of his career.

Kyrgios has lost just one set and entered the fourth round with dominant wins – albeit against unseeded opponents – but he needs to be at his best to overtake Medvedev, who won the tournament last year.

Kyrgios has already surpassed his best run at the US Open after beating US wildcard JJ Wolf in the third round; to prove his unlikely run to the Wimbledon final in July was no fluke.

Possibly the most polarizing figure in tennis, Kyrgios has already been fined $11,000 at the tournament for abusing his own supporter box in their second-round clash.

Nick Kyrgios was at his best in his third-round win over JJ Wolf at the US Open

Nick Kyrgios was at his best in his third-round win over JJ Wolf at the US Open

But the bad boy of tennis doesn’t care how much hate he sees, hears and reads; he says it inspires him to win a Grand Slam title.

“As a tennis player, as an athlete, in any profession, you want to be there in these moments. I don’t want to play futures or challengers in backyards with no audience,” Kyrgios said.

“That’s not why I do this sport. That’s not why I pick up a bat. I want to play in front of millions of people in the biggest stadiums in the world and broadcast worldwide.

“I want to be there. That’s why I work hard. It makes it even cuter.

“I know a lot of people don’t want my success. I know a lot of people hate my game, how I do things, how I go about it,” Kyrgios said.

Nick Kyrgios and his girlfriend Costeen attend a tennis social event in New York before the start of the US Open

Nick Kyrgios and his girlfriend Costeen attend a tennis social event in New York before the start of the US Open

The 27-year-old has taken a lot longer than most to mature and some would say he still has a way to go, but he is determined to maintain his fiery edge and, so to speak, the flag for the Aussie men to hoist.

“(But) I’m the only Australian left on the men’s side. It’s the same story every time, literally every time at a Grand Slam,” said Kyrgios.

“I always blossom. I never want to forget what people say. I always carry this chip on my shoulder. I have everything in mind when I play.”

However, his bad-boy image may have been a bit ruined after female star Coco Gauff recently competed for the Australian.

Coco Gauff says Nick Kyrgios is a really nice guy - but a lot of people don't see this page

Nick Kyrgios was fined $11,000 after abusing his own supporter box in the second round

Coco Gauff took a stab at tennis villain Nick Kyrgios – and says he’s a “nice guy”.

“I know he’s doing things on the court that people don’t agree with,” Gauff said Friday after her third-round win over Madison Keys.

“(But) overall I think he’s a nice person. At least he always was for me.’

Gauff pointed to instances where the Australian practiced with her after he had already spent hours practicing on his own as to why he wasn’t the “bad guy” others made him out to be.

Nick Kyrgios celebrates after beating JJ Wolf in the third round of the US Open

Nick Kyrgios celebrates after beating JJ Wolf in the third round of the US Open

She was also optimistic about his chances at the Open.

“If he keeps this up I think he can go far. He can win the tournament. We all know he has the ability to do it. He was close at Wimbledon,” said 18-year-old Gauff.

“To be honest, I’m always, always after him no matter who he’s playing.”

Medvedev himself is no stranger to courting controversy either.

Russia's Daniil Medvedev, the current world number one, will take on Kyrgios in the fourth round

Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, the current world number one, will take on Kyrgios in the fourth round

The world number one, who won the US Open last year and reached the finals of the Australian Open in 2021 and 2022, has been fined multiple times for viciously abusing referees and even ball boys.

But what is clear, he can play tennis. Very good.

The counter-puncher has a very complete game, and this will be a round four game for tennis purists to enjoy – and probably one that the drama queens will enjoy.

Kyrgios said he’s looking forward to every moment as the match is set to start at 9am (AEST) on Monday morning.

Nick Kyrgios is sightseeing with his girlfriend Costeen Hatzi ahead of the US Open

Nick Kyrgios is sightseeing with his girlfriend Costeen Hatzi ahead of the US Open

‘I want to be there. I want to be prime time. I want to be on this screen, the screen that they all see. I embrace it,” he said.

“Win or lose, I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I worked hard to be in the fourth round against Medvedev at the US Open. I want to be there.

“I think every tennis player wants to be there, play against the best players in the world in the best stadiums in the world and get paid well. I’m looking forward to it,” said Kyrgios.

Nick Kyrgios is looking to return after his straight-set win over JJ Wolf

Nick Kyrgios is looking to return after his straight-set win over JJ Wolf

He’s in the best Grand Slam form of his career but aside from that US Open campaign and Wimbledon, Alex de Minaur was actually Australia’s last man to feature in many Slams in recent seasons.

Whatever works for Kyrgios, who has the opportunity to usurp de Minaur as Australia’s highest-ranking if he can defeat Medvedev.

Kyrgios can even knock the Russian off his place as world no.

Daniil Medvedev (left) shakes hands with Nick Kyrgios after he won their most recent encounter: a second-round match at the National Bank Open in Canada

Daniil Medvedev (left) shakes hands with Nick Kyrgios after he won their most recent encounter: a second-round match at the National Bank Open in Canada

The Canberran leads 3-1 in the duo’s clashes against each other, with his only defeat being a four-set defeat at this year’s Australian Open.

His last win over Medvedev came just three weeks ago in Montreal – so Kyrgios is confident he can progress and continue playing in front of the big crowds he craves.

The winner of the blockbuster duel meets either twelfth-placed Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta or Russia’s Karen Khachanov for a place in the semifinals on Tuesday.

Kyrgios also remains in the hunt for a second Grand Slam doubles crown for 2022 with his best pal Thanasi Kokkinakis after the Australian Open winner ominously advanced into round three on Saturday.

The duel between Kyrgios and Medvedev

Nick Kyrgios (AUS) leads Daniil Medvedev (RUS) 3-1

  • 2022 Montreal, hard, R32, Kyrgios 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-2
  • Australian Open 2022, hard, R64, Medvedev 7-6 (7-1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
  • 2019 Washington, hard, F, Kyrgios 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-4)
  • 2019 Rome Masters, clay, R64, Kyrgios 6-3, 3-6, 6-3

DANIIL MEDVEDEV

  • Age: 26
  • Placement: 1st
  • Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
  • Career Prize Money: $24,609,195
  • Job titles: 14
  • Grand Slam Title: 1 (US Open 2021)
  • US Open win-loss record: 23-4
  • Best US Open Result: 2021 Champion

NICK KYRGIOS

  • Age: 27
  • Rank: 25th
  • Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
  • Career Prize Money: $11,823,860
  • Job titles: 7
  • Grand Slam title: 0
  • US Open win-loss record: 11-8
  • Best US Open result: fourth round 2022

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-11177745/Nick-Kyrgios-credits-chip-shoulder-form-ahead-Open-clash-Daniil-Medvedev.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Nick Kyrgios credits ‘chip on his shoulder’ for form ahead of US Open clash with Daniil Medvedev

Bradford Betz

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