Nick Kyrgios doubles-down on French Open 2023 plans

Nick Kyrgios's mum says it's been a 'tough year' for star

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Tennis maverick Nick Kyrgios has reinforced his decision to play at next year’s French Open primarily because his girlfriend Costeen Hatzi wants to visit the city. The 2022 Wimbledon runner-up is a talented grass court player and always a threat on the hard courts, but he has regularly struggled on the slower and lower surface of clay.

The 27-year-old hasn’t featured at the Parisian Grand Slam since 2017, and he hasn’t progressed further than the third round. His disdain for the clay was clear to see in November 2021 when he claimed the French Open is the ‘worst Grand Slam’ of them all and even suggested that the tournament should even be removed from the calendar. 

But to fulfil his partner’s wish, Kyrgios will add the French Open to his schedule next year. “My girlfriend wants to see Paris, so I’m going to play at Roland Garros 2023,” the world number 22 said again after confirming the same stance back in April

“It will be good for me to earn a little more money, although I would have preferred to stay at home. I know that I can do great results on clay; I have beaten Roger, Wawrinka, I played a final in Estoril… My girl wants to see the city so I will have to go this year”.

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He added: “There are too many clay court tournaments on the calendar. I see guys in the top-100 that I don’t even know. I wouldn’t recognize them if I passed them on the street, and they’re only there because of the clay tournaments. It seems crazy to me.”

The Australian enjoyed arguably his best season in 2022. He was more consistent across the board, and captured a second title in Washington, along with the Australian Open doubles title alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis. Looking ahead to 2023, Kyrgios has shared his thoughts on who may win the Grand Slams, and shared his desire to win one after coming close to glory on centre court this summer.

“Rafa will win Roland Garros once again, Djokovic will lift the title at Wimbledon and I think that in the US Open and the Australian Open, the great favourite will be Novak and only Medvedev could overshadow him,” Kyrgios said. “I would love to win one (Grand Slam), but realistically, it is difficult because Djokovic is still very dominant.”

While competing at the Diriyah Tennis Cup in Saudi Arabia, Kyrgios opened up embracing pressure and being in a prime position to win a major. “I completely understand going on the match court with all this expectation that Nick Kyrgios (has a) legitimate chance to win a Grand Slam now,” he declared.

“There’s a lot of pressure there especially having the Australian Open and everyone in Australia expecting big things from me. It’s a lot to handle sometimes. Being in the spotlight is not easy. I feel like I’ve embraced that and I’ve taken that challenge on. It’s not easy, I’ve really worked hard to try and channel it, internalise it and use it as fuel.

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