Nick Kyrgios has praised Ash Barty.
Nick Kyrgios has praised Ash Barty.

Kyrgios backs Barty, sledges Murray

Nick Kyrgios took a break from his Wimbledon preparations to heap praise on Ash Barty, double down on his recent feud with Novak Djokovic and have a sly dig at Andy Murray.

Declaring Barty "the most talented tennis player I have seen in a long time," Kyrgios also insists his inflammatory views of Novak Djokovic will never change.

Kyrgios said Barty was "probably one of the favourites for Wimbledon" after fulfilling untapped potential at Roland Garros.

"I played juniors with her. I grew up with her," Kyrgios said.

 

Ash Barty, Nick Kyrgios and Casey Dellacqua. Kyrgios said he “always knew” Barty was “going to be a champion”.
Ash Barty, Nick Kyrgios and Casey Dellacqua. Kyrgios said he “always knew” Barty was “going to be a champion”.

"Literally we were travelling to Thailand, through Asia and playing juniors.

"She was raking up titles in juniors. I always knew that she was going to be a champion at some stage, just how bad she wanted it.

"Obviously she took that break to get her mind right and step back from the sport, and then she came back and was so dominant.

"I actually think she's probably one of the favourites for Wimbledon, for sure.

 

Ash Barty of Australia kisses the French Open trophy at Roland Garros.
Ash Barty of Australia kisses the French Open trophy at Roland Garros.

"I think Australia has been waiting for that next player to win a grand slam and I think she was our best chance.

"She's amazing. I mean, she's gonna pile them (titles) up."

Ruling out a Wimbledon doubles partnership with Andy Murray, Kyrgios said he is unconcerned about crossing swords with Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco.

Kyrgios smeared the trio in Rome, lashing Djokovic as "cringe-worthy", Nadal as "salty" and Verdasco as egotistical.

 

Nick Kyrgios in his junior days. Picture: Facebook
Nick Kyrgios in his junior days. Picture: Facebook

 

At Queen's Club to chase a Wimbledon seeding with a strong Fever-Tree Championships showing, Kyrgios refuses to budge on his views ahead of possible grass court clashes over the next month in London with the trio.

Taunting Djokovic with a reminder the Serb is yet to beat him in two attempts, Kyrgios said: "I think if I play Novak he'd just be determined to get one win against me, and I have played Rafa a bunch of times.

"We have beaten each other, as well.

"I think they are motivated to beat me in general.

"I don't think before those comments they were, like, 'Oh, I don't really care.'

"They wanted to beat me regardless.

"But, like, my opinions won't change. I like when we go out there and we battle.

"Like, that's what it is.

"In society today, when someone is being honest, it causes a bit of a stir.

"So, I mean, I just say what I think and I just go about it the way I go about it."

Kyrgios plays France's Adrian Mannarino in the first round at Queen's Club.

Alex de Minaur faces Slovenian Aljaz Bedene.

 

Nick Kyrgio during a disastrous outing on the clay in Rome. The controversial Aussie star now has his sights set firmly on Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgio during a disastrous outing on the clay in Rome. The controversial Aussie star now has his sights set firmly on Wimbledon.

 

 

Ash Barty and Nick Kyrgios went through juniors together. Picture: Instagram
Ash Barty and Nick Kyrgios went through juniors together. Picture: Instagram
News Corp Australia


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