Everyone’s favourite love-to-hate tennis star, Nick Kygrios, had some pretty raw things to say on a recent chat with ‘NCR Tennis’, a weekly podcast by freelance New York Times journalist Ben Rothenburg.
In the interview, Kygrios ripped his rivals to shreds, particularly Spaniard Rafael Nadal, 15-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic and tennis veteran Fernando Verdasco. You’ll find a summary rant for each of them below, or you can listen to the full 50-minute chat at the bottom of this article.
On Rafael Nadal:
“Hmm, this is dangerous. He’s my polar opposite, like literally my polar opposite. And he’s super salty.”
“As soon as I beat him, it’s just like, ‘He has no respect for me, my fans and no respect to the game’. And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? I literally played this way when I beat you the other previous times and nothing changed.”
“It’s not a good look for you, I feel.”
“When I say something after I play him, it’s not going to get noticed as much. But when he says something, it’s like that’s the only thing that matters. They’re like, ‘Oh yeah, he must be right. This guy must lack education, he must lack respect’.”
“And you’re asking me why I do things and why I go back at fans in the crowd. And that’s why. These guys show me no respect. None. So why would I show you respect? For instance, when I’m taking matches, I don’t care that you paid for tickets. You guys treat me like crap anyway. Rafa gets me vexed, as well.”
On Novak Djokovic:
“I just feel like he has a sick obsession with wanting to be liked. He just wants to be like Roger. For me personally – I don’t care right now, I’ve come this far – I feel like he just wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him.”
“This whole celebration thing that he does after matches, it’s like so cringeworthy. It’s very cringeworthy. He’s an unbelievable player, he’s a champion of the sport; one of the greatest we’ll ever see. He probably will, honestly, I reckon he will get the grand slam count, I reckon he will overpass Federer.”
“Djokovic, again, just rubs me the wrong way. He always says what feels like he needs to say; never speaks his opinion.”
“These guys, they’re not bad guys, but him especially … the celebration just kills me. Every time he does the celebration it just kills me. Honestly, that’s what I’m doing next time: if I play him and beat him, I’m doing his celebration, in front of him. That would be hilarious, right?”
On Fernando Verdasco:
“Verdasco drives me nuts, man. That guy … I don’t even want to talk about it.”
“He doesn’t say hello, he thinks he’s so good, he thinks he’s God’s gift. Dude, your backhand’s pretty average and let’s be honest, you hit a ball over a net.”