Is This The Year Nick Kyrgios Fulfils His Destiny And Wins The Australian Open?

No Australian man has won the Australian Open since Mark Edmondson in 1976
08:00, 13 Jan 2023

“I am one of the best players in the world so I'm definitely going to go into the Australian Open, any tournament, with confidence.”

Nick Kyrgios is in a bullish mood ahead of the Australian Open. His homecoming tournament hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for him in the past as an individual. Although he won the men’s doubles last year, he hasn’t reached the quarter-final stage in the singles since 2015. 

But this year, things feel different. Kyrgios is no longer the petulant character who throws away sets and doesn’t ultimately care about the result. Well, sort of. That petulance is still visible on court, but he is now seemingly able to channel his anger into producing some outrageously good tennis. 


“It's a bit different this time around for me being one of the favourites,” he continued after practice. “Usually I'm a dark horse type thing but now, obviously after the year I've had, I'm one of the favourites so it's kind of new for me as well.

“This is the first time I've genuinely gone into a slam feeling like I'm one of the guys that can really take the trophy and knock on the door. I don't know what I'm going to be feeling when I get out there.

“Usually I've got nothing to lose and just putting on a show, but I've got to try to really find that balance. Fourteen days to win one of these things is not easy. Obviously I'm capable but so many other people are capable as well.”

No Australian man has won the Australian Open since Mark Edmondson in 1976, but Kyrgios seems fully prepared to go the distance, just as he did at Wimbledon in 2022. He surprised many with his dedication to the sport over that fortnight although he was fortunate to be given a walkover against the injured Rafa Nadal in the semi. He won the opening set against Novak Djokovic in the final, but lost 3-1 in his best major appearance yet. 

At the US Open, he fell at the quarter-final stage in five sets to Karen Khachanov, a match which many felt he could have won. But it wasn’t to be. There’s no doubting Kyrgios, for all his flaws over the past six years, is maturing. He is closer to winning a major title now than he ever has been, although the Australian Open draw has placed a few hurdles in his way.

He is seeded 19th and faces world number 99 Roman Safiullin in round one, but he will not play anybody in the top eight until the second week, should he get that far. However he is on a collision course to take on Novak Djokovic in the last eight and the Serbian has been practically impossible to beat in Melbourne, as he targets his 10th title.  

The two are set to take each other on in an exhibition match before the tournament begins, which could be a precursor to the second biggest match of Kyrgios’ career. If he can beat Djokovic, he will have the confidence to go all the way. The bookies might even make him outright favourite should he overcome the Serbian. 

“I think he's the most talented player I've seen in ten years,” John McEnroe recently claimed, referring to the Aussie. The talent is certainly undeniable, but on the other side of the fence Andy Roddick is still unconvinced. “He's like a part-time tennis player,' the former world number one said. “He doesn't play that often, he takes months off at a time. It's like a hobby.”

Those two former greats offer a snapshot of the division in opinions that Kyrgios provokes. But how long does he want to be remembered as the guy who kicks up a fuss or argues with the umpire over how many drinks somebody in the crowd has had? Somewhere deep inside, the Australian has a burning desire to lift a Grand Slam trophy. It’s why he is still playing. 

The Australian Open is at the very top of his wishlist. 

*18+ | Be Gamble Aware

Nick Kyrgios is 16/1 to win the Australian Open with Betfred*
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