Nick Kyrgios has shed light on the unique pre-match and post-match routines and practices that make tennis different from any other sport.
Despite being out of action for over half a year since making a brief cameo at the Stuttgart Open in 2023, Kyrgios is no stranger to sharing close quarters with some of tennis' biggest stars.
The Australian player has gone deep into several Grand Slams and reached the 2022 Wimbledon final before losing to Novak Djokovic.
However, when looking back on some of these high-profile battles on the court, Kyrgios said the build-up down in the locker room is unlike any other sport, mostly due to the close proximity of the competitors.
When speaking on the Naomi Osaka x Hana Kuma podcast with Gordon Ramsey, the 28-year-old could not help but feel slightly uncomfortable with certain pre-match routines involving both players.
"The thing about tennis is that everyone thinks it’s individual right, but then it’s like we shower, like all the athletes shower together, we eat together. So, we’re seeing these people like minutes before we walk out to the arena which is the craziest thing in the sport. Usually, separate locker rooms, you don’t see this person all day, you’re trying to kill this person."
In particular, Kyrgios thought back to his US Open 2022 quarter-final clash with Daniil Medvedev. Here, the Australian could not get over how the two players were sharing the same space leading up to and after a high-stakes clash on one of the biggest stages in professional tennis.
"Last year  US Open, me and Medvedev were about to go out there and we’re in the locker room together, watching the previous match finish. We’re getting our stuff together and then we go play and just come right back into the locker room getting undressed, shower and we were the only two people in the locker room."
"So it’s like, not a team environment, but it feels like you’re doing the same thing because I just played in front of millions of people against this guy for hundreds and thousands of dollars and now I’m going to shower next to him."