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Nick Kyrgios will begin play in the U.S. Open Monday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium but the result of that game – win or lose – apparently won’t make much difference to the Australian tennis pro.
Kyrgios, 27, advanced to his first final appearance at a major in July, when he lost the Wimbledon title to Novak Djokovic after four grueling sets. But he says a different result in that game would’ve led him to skipping the final major of the year.
“Staying in a single spot for two to three weeks can be exhausting. And to know that I can do that and go about things the right way and take every practice session, every recovery session, the right way, it’s confidence in the back of my mind,” he said of what reaching the final meant to him.
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“But also, I’m the type of player that if I had won Wimbledon, I probably wouldn’t have played the U.S. Open.”
Since Wimbledon, Kyrgios has gone on to win the men’s doubles title at the Atlanta Open with Thanasi Kokkinakis – his opponent on Monday night, the singles and doubles title at the Washington Open, a quarterfinal appearance at the Canadian Open, and most recently a second-round loss to top American Taylor Fritz in Cincinnati.
But being on the road for so long has taken its toll.
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“I was just so mentally and physically worn out. Mentally I wanted to go out there and give another good performance; my body almost didn’t let me. It was like trying to get a lawn mower started after four or five times. It just wasn’t going,” Kyrgios said.
“There’s been so much going on at home – my brother’s had a baby; my mom is sick. It’s just hard to be away. It’s definitely weighing on me every day I’m longer on the road. I just want to go home, kind of thing. But I know this is an important event here, so I’ve just got to put them to the side.”
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He continued: “Whether I win or lose, it’s going to be the same for me. … It’s a win-win for me. If I win, it’s more money and another great result. If I lose, I get to go home.”
The top ranked tennis pro will take center stage in the U.S. Open Monday at 8:15 p.m. E.T.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.