Nick Kyrgios recently revealed that he is slowly accepting that his long-term future as a tennis player "may be over" in light of his injury struggles.
Kyrgios is undoubtedly the most mercurial of tennis pros of the last decade. He is known for his flamboyance and swagger but is also a polarizing figure in men's tennis. His talent, however, is absolute because, at his best, Kyrgios defeated each member of the Big 3 in their first match-ups.
Even World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who has had his spat with the 28-year-old in the past, referred to him as a "refreshing" presence in tennis. Onlookers unanimously agree that a player of Kyrgios' abilities should have won more trophies.
What looked like a far-fetched idea might now become a reality because Kyrgios might not be on tour long enough to fulfill that teenage hype from when he walked onto Centre Court and blew away Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon almost ten years ago.
Kyrgios penned his thoughts to The Sydney Morning Herald, revealing that his current injury struggles have triggered a moment of self-reflection on his career and whether he might actually play again. Although he did not categorically mention he was retiring, he hinted that he was contemplating retirement.
"I sat down with my agent, Stuart Duguid, a couple of days ago to talk about my future. The reality is, there is a part of me that knows my time in the sport may be over. And I’m OK with that."
"It’s a conversation that needed to be had. I’m at a crossroads in my career and have reached a point where life after tennis is a prospect that excites me."
In his time away from competition, Kyrgios has transitioned to become a part-time pundit, working with major broadcasters like Tennis Channel at the ATP Finals and Eurosport, where he works as an analyst and match commentator for this year's Australian Open. He has also launched his own podcast.
In the same column, Kyrgios stated that he had candid conversations with his manager discussing post-tennis career moves. He believes he could leverage his surging popularity to stay relevant within the sport even if it meant hanging up his racket.
"It’s why my manager brought it up. He said, “This could be you from now on if you want it to be.” I could travel the world making really good money commentating on the sport, doing things like I am now with my talk show interviewing guys like Gordon Ramsay and Mike Tyson."
For now, Kyrgios is working persistently to recover from knee and wrist injuries, which have kept him out of the game for over a year. He played just one match in 2023 and spent the rest of the months on the treatment table. He doesn't know when he will return to action, but recent reports suggest it will happen during the grass swing.
"I know I can be one of the best in the world and win major tournaments - if my body lets me. The fire still burns, but it’s not my everything."
"I don’t know when I will be back. I’m hoping I can recover from the wrist injury that required surgery last year in time for Wimbledon and the US Open, but that’s no guarantee. My body may never be the same again and injuries can take you down a different path than you imagined."