Nick Kyrgios has long been known to dislike the clay-court season and favor hard and grass courts. He also finished as runner-up at Wimbledon in 2015 and 2016. This year, the Australian player has had his best results on both hard and grass courts.
They celebrated their first Grand Slam doubles championship win with close friend and countryman Thanasi Kokkinakis at the start of the year. A mere six months later, the Canberra athlete was back in a Grand Slam final, this time as a singles player after Nadal‘s early exit from Wimbledon‘s semifinals.
On the other hand, these outcomes did not occur on the red earth surface. Aside from the Houston break this year, a tournament on a clay court different from the others, the Australian number two has not played a clay court tournament since 2019. This includes the Rome Internationals, which took place three years ago.
Before Rome, another round in Houston, and above all, the final presence at the only Slam tournament on clay, Roland Garros: it was 2017, and Kyrgios’ race ended in the second round, losing to Kevin Anderson. However, this aversion to this surface is not just abstract; it also has specific programming implications.
Kyrgios’s distaste for soft surfaces before hard ones
Score updates from the Swiss Open, one of the clay tournaments played between Wimbledon and the start of the North American hard court season, have been posted to Twitter by the ATP website.
The question, “Why the clay leading to the US Open swing?” prompted Kyrgios to provide an answer. The clay tournaments that the Australian mentions as a point of criticism range from Bastard to Hamburg, Gstaad to Kitzbuhel, and finally Umag.
As soon as we finish these events, of which only Hamburg is 500, we head to North America, to Washington as a tuneup for the Masters 1000 in Montreal and Cincinnati and, most importantly, the US Open.
When the 2022 North American hard-courts swing begins, Kyrgios will be a major player and a heavy favorite to take home a trophy or two.