The Australian Open, Nick Kyrgios, reveals a sobering fear of media negativity

Nick Kyrgios has revealed that he doesn’t know “how I would react to negative emotions this year” if he lost his Australian Open epic with five sets to Ugo Humbert, in a sobering insight into the psyche the Australian carries with him every time he steps on . Court.

Speaking after one of Melbourne Park’s most memorable victories, the 25-year-old, standing in the center of the John Cain Arena, revealed: “If you were in my head, I was thinking about everyone’s going to be a cop if I lost this game – there were some dark thoughts. “

It’s a sobering confession to a character who is loved yet so vilified in one of the most critical sports.

A negative headline is no stranger, it’s not the first time Kyrgios has exposed his fear of the negative press and its consequences.

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In 2019, Kyrgios was caught on court microphones, scared of what the media would say if he retired due to an injury against Rafael Nadal at Acapulco.

“If I give up, the media will blow up … I’ll be booed off the pitch,” Kyrgios was caught talking to the coach.

The then 23-year-old persisted to win the match and the tournament.

Still, it’s a disturbing glimpse into the luggage that Kyrgios carries made even heavier due to the expectations of his incredible talent and even more aroused by his antics on the pitch.

Nick Kyrgios finishes his return

So when the case surfaced again Wednesday night, after securing its third round against Dominic Thie, journalists were clearly intrigued.

“The media is not holding me back,” said candid Kyrgios in anticipation of the media at his post-match press conference.

“I definitely thought about it, you know, a lot was expected of me not to play in a year. downhill from the second round, I was almost scared.

“I was afraid to go into that room, get into my Airbnb and just read about it and take it all, embrace all the negativity… which I already embraced. It’s not easy to go back and try to put it all behind.

“And I was just thinking about it. My back is against the wall and I just don’t know how I got out of it. But I don’t know how I would react to negative emotions this year.

“Every tennis player has to deal with negative things, I know. I’m not trying to pretend to be a victim here. I don’t live under a rock, I know the cop gets a lot of criticism for everything I do.

“Sometimes I don’t read it, but it’s hard to miss when I wake up and go on Instagram or something and it’s just subconsciously there. My mind accepts it all. It’s not easy to leave it all behind.

There was an undeniable shift in mentality on Wednesday night in which clearly “locked” Kyrgios, as Jim Courier described it, gave up on-field outbursts and histrionics to drop two match points and score a stunning fight.

Perhaps this is a change that audiences craved so much of him as he grew up in the middle years of his career, and one that could help resolve some of the past negativities that plagued his image.

Even so, the impact of imposing such expectations on you at such a young age clearly stuck to the Australian who, before the end of the press conference, recalled perhaps one of the more difficult truths.

“I started doing it when I was 17 or 18 – I was a kid then,” he said.

“Now I know, I’m trying to block it out, more mature and stuff, but it’s still not easy.

“Let’s say another Australian loses tonight, they (the media) will say,” Oh, great effort to win the first round, it really beat his heart out. ” But if I lose tonight, it’s an absolute disaster.

“I remember one night I played [Andreas] Seppi and I lost five sets out of two sets to fall in love and I was booed off court. I thought, it just feels like it’s not that simple. “

Australian Open: Nick Kyrgios v Ugo Humbert

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