Nick Kyrgios - US Open 2022 and Boris Becker - Australian Open 2015

Nick Kyrgios claims he has ‘brought million more fans’ as Boris Becker feud continues

Nick Kyrgios has responded to Boris Becker, after the German suggested that he should be more grateful to former legends who paved the way for the ATP Tour of today.

Kyrgios has been out of action for the majority of 2023, having played only one match after struggling with a knee, foot and wrist injury.

However, the Australian has still been offering his opinions on the sport, both on social media and on his recent appearances as a commentator for Tennis Channel.

When recently speaking to The Athletic, Kyrgios ignited a feud with Becker after claiming that the ‘game was so slow’ when he was playing, “The game was so slow back then. I’ve watched Boris Becker and I’m not saying they weren’t good in their time, but to say that they would be just as good now, it’s absurd.”

Becker responded to Kyrgios when speaking to Eurosport, claiming that the 2022 Wimbledon finalist needs to ‘have respect for the past’, “We live in a democracy. Everyone can think what he wants. You have to have respect for the past and simply say ‘thank you’ out loud that these old pros existed, because without them the tennis circus would no longer exist.”

The 56-year-old continued, “Let me start with Australia. Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe, Ken Roach – the gladiators of the Australian tennis scene. Then I have to mention Patrick Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt. They were all number one, they won Grand Slam tournaments.

“I go further in the generational question and say: 70s, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, then Ivan Lendl came along. They popularised the sport, they drew viewers to the television,” Becker said. “You can see the result today. There has never been so much prize money, there has never been so much publicity as there is today. And that’s because of the legends.

“I did play a bit in the 80s, but there was [Stefan] Edberg, [Mats] Wilander. The 90s were {Andre] Agassi, [Pete] Sampras. All these players make it possible for Nick Kyrgios not to play tennis at all this year and still be able to make a living from tennis.”

Kyrgios has earned a total of $12,486,696 in career prize money, and has replied to Becker on social media claiming that he has ‘brought million more fans to the sport’.

“Bro what I’ve been one of the FEW PLAYERS that have brought million more fans to the sport and have made more money for everyone,” claimed the 28-year-old. “NETFLIX…. Don’t remember seeing Boris on there guy is ridiculous. I’ve made my career off the court without the help of the others.”

Kyrgios continued his response, including an implied dig about Becker’s recent time in prison, “Uhhh what? I’ve been arguably one of the most watched players outside the big three the last decade? Fans around the world and have brought so many more people to the sport. I’ve created my own stuff off the court. Try to not hide any more assets x”

Inside the baseline…

It is unsurprising that Nick Kyrgios is wanting to have the last word in this argument, as he has often been outspoken during his time in the limelight. Both have an argument to an extent, as previous legends have definitely enabled the sport to get where it is today and Kyrgios certainly brings a new audience to tennis.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.