‘Most talented player in last 10 years’ – John McEnroe mourns Nick Kyrgios potential
John McEnroe believes Nick Kyrgios is the most talented player he has seen on the tour in the past 10 years and thinks he “belongs in the top five.”
Australian icon Kyrgios was left short of preparation ahead of the Australian Open after he tested positive for Covid-19 just one week before the Slam.
However, such lack of preparation was not evident in either of Kyrgios’ two matches at the first Slam of the season.
The crowd favourite roared to victory over British qualifier Liam Broady in straight sets in flamboyant fashion, before losing to US Open champion Daniil Medvedev.
Kyrgios utilised the amped up Melbourne Park crowds in both matches but ultimately Russian world number two Medvedev proved too much for the Australian to handle as he lost 7-6 (7-1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
Kyrgios’ last match came in September at the Laver Cup as he suffered a knee injury that ruled him out of action for three and a half months.
In a virtual interview with Eurosport after the Kyrgios-Medvedev match, seven-time singles Slam champion McEnroe said: “It’s tough to watch because he’s so talented, so great for the game.
“I would love to see him step up and be in the top five or six players [in the world], where I think he belongs.
“I feel bad in a way because you see him make shots like this, play points like this, look at the crowd.
“The guy brings it. I would absolutely love to see him fulfil his potential or get even close to it.”
Kyrgios is undoubtedly one of the most technically gifted players on the ATP tour, but has barely played in the past two years and has floated the idea of retirement before he even turns 30.
McEnroe thinks this is a shame, and points out that the mentality is the only thing really missing with Kyrgios.
“Between his ears, that’s what’s missing,” the legend continued.
“He’s got great game. I would say tennis-wise, the most talented player I’ve seen in the last 10 years. But you also have to bring what it takes to compete on a day in, day out basis.
“Look at Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. These consummate professionals who do whatever it takes to win and then look at Nick, they realise he’s great for the game.
“He’s got a personality, he’s a smart kid, he’s a good kid, everyone likes him.
“He’s a fantastic talent but you’ve got to be able to put it together, you’ve got to be able to compete on a regular basis and unfortunately Nick hasn’t been able to do that for a while.”
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