Nick Kyrgios says he has kept himself away from tennis because he knew he wouldn’t be able to handle life inside the tennis bubble.
Frenchman Benoit Paire has been very vocal about the mental difficulties that come with being a tennis player during the Covid crisis, with him receiving criticism for speaking too candidly about his struggles to motivate himself because of it.
Kyrgios is currently playing his first tournament outside of Australia for more than a year, and he says he has every sympathy with Paire.
“That’s why I didn’t play most of the year,” Kyrgios said. “I made the decision that I know myself and I don’t bulls**t to myself.
“I know that, Nick, are you going to be in a good mental space over this year to go week in, week out in the bubble environment? I said, No. That’s why I didn’t play for very long.
“Obviously I didn’t think playing during Covid was a smart thing. But, yeah, that’s why this week I brought my girlfriend, I brought my best friend.
“I wanted to bring two people that I trusted, that I was very comfortable around, that made me feel good. Take it week by week. Next week I got it off. Obviously the US is open.
“But, yeah, look, anyone that’s in the bubble, I commend them for their efforts. It’s not easy. It’s not easy to disconnect tennis. Usually you can go back to your house in the Wimbledon Village, go for a walk, just disconnect.
“To have good results week in, week out in the bubble, you’re very resilient. I’ve got to give props to these guys. They love it. They love the sport. It’s not easy. It’s not easy at all.
“Yesterday I was here at 12pm. I warmed up. I was here all day. Finished, got back to my hotel at 1am. In a bubble. Woke up, got back here. It’s not easy.
“Yeah, like Benoit, he’s his own man, too. He makes his own decisions. Like he said, he doesn’t owe anything to anyone. He plays for himself. That’s what he does. It’s up to him. It’s all good.”
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