Nick Kyrgios has busted the myth that he loves the bright lights of New York as he fights to break his grand slam duck in the Big Apple.
Kyrgios is among the US Open favourites after conquering world No.1 and defending champion Daniil Medvedev amid a scorching hard-court run since falling to Novak Djokovic in a high-quality Wimbledon title decider.
The unvaccinated Djokovic isn’t at Flushing Meadows after being told he wouldn’t be allowed into the US, leaving a huge void in a 128-man draw also missing injured world No.2 Alexander Zverev.
Kyrgios, though, admits he can’t wait to leave after spending four months on the road away from his family and other members of his tight-knit entourage.
“I just want to go home but I know there’s an important event here,” he said ahead of a challenging opener with great mate and doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis on Monday night (11am Tuesday AEST).
Kyrgios’s bling, razor-sharp haircut and crowd-pleasing antics are made for Arthur Ashe Stadium, tennis’s biggest stage with the sport’s rowdiest spectators.
But just because he loves to entertain doesn’t necessarily mean tennis’s greatest showman loves to be entertained in NYC.
Now blissfully in love, the one-time wild child and tennis party boy would likely prefer Broadway over bars.
Give Kyrgios the chill of Canberra over the mayhem of Manhattan, he says.
“Honestly, I don’t even know if I like New York. It’s so busy. I’m a hyper-sensory person and there’s so much going on and every day I get to my room and I feel like I can’t do anything,” the homesick star said on Saturday.
“I know the tennis world and the fans out there want me to put on a show every time I step out on the court so that’s exhausting as well.
“I feel sometimes I just want to play and get it over and done with. So I’ll do what I’ve got left in the tank and then we’ll see what happens.
“Obviously everyone’s kind of expecting me to do so many great things now, but I don’t know.
“To be honest. I’m not putting so much expectation on myself this event.
“I want to do well. I feel like I’ve had such a good couple of months on the hard courts that, if mentally I feel good and my body holds up, I can do some damage for sure.
“I’m probably playing some of the best tennis of my career. But, in saying that, there’s so many capable players as well.
“Someone can light me up for a night. Someone can beat me – I know that’s possible.
“Look, I’m just going to play and get the first flight out of here when I can.”