The three-time Wimbledon winner Boris Becker has stepped up his dispute with Australian tennis professional Nick Kyrgios.
“You have to have respect for the past and just say thank you out loud that these old professionals existed, because without them the tennis circus would no longer exist,” said the 56-year-old in the Eurosport podcast “The Yellow Ball.” and listed tennis icons such as Rod Laver, Stefan Edberg, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and himself: "All these players make it possible for Kyrgios to virtually not play tennis at all this year and still be able to make a living from his sport. "
"The game was so slow back then"
Kyrgios had previously commented on comparisons of stars from earlier times around Becker with the current generation. "The game was so slow back then," the 2022 Wimbledon finalist told "The Athletic": "I looked at Boris Becker, and I'm not saying they weren't good in their time, but to say they are now would be just as good is absurd”. It is a completely different sport.
Becker then had a war of words with Kyrgios on the X platform. “Nick has been making a lot of noise about tennis lately,” Becker wrote: “Why is he talking about a sport he obviously hates.” The 28-year-old Kyrgios countered: You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize that the Serbian record Grand Slam tournament winner Novak Djokovic would have handled Becker in his prime. “We live in a democracy. Everyone can think what they want,” said Becker in the podcast.
Kyrgios is considered an eccentric and highly gifted tennis player. Due to injury, he only played one match this year. He has canceled his participation in the Australian Open in January 2024.