Nick Kyrgios has reaffirmed his plan to play at Roland Garros next year as his girlfriend has her heart set on seeing Paris while it will also give him an opportunity to grow his bank balance.
The Australian has never made a secret of the fact that clay is not his favourite surface and he hasn’t played at the French Open since 2017. In fact, he has played only five editions of the red dirt Grand Slam with his best showings are a couple of third-round exits.
However, earlier in 2022 he revealed that he will return to Paris all in the name of love as his girlfriend Costeen Hatzi – whom he says has credited for helping him turn his life around both on and off the court – is keen to visit the French capital.
And he has now again confirmed that Roland Garros 2023 will be on his calendar and there will be the added bonus of being able to earn more money for his adventures on clay.
“My girlfriend wants to know Paris, so I’m going to play at Roland Garros 2023,” the world No 22 said. “It will be good for me to earn some more money, although I would have preferred to stay at home.”
Kyrgios’ first-ever ATP Tour final was on clay as he finished runner-up at the Estoril Open in 2015 while he has also reached the quarter-final of the Madrid Open in 2016. In 2015 he beat Roger Federer in Madrid while the following year he defeated Stan Wawrinka in the Spanish capital.
The 27-year-old is confident he can produce some top results on the surface.
“I know I can do great results on clay,” he said. “I beat Roger, Wawrinka, I played a final in Estoril… My girl wants to get to know the city so I will have to go this year.”
The clay-court season is the longest on the ATP Tour and this year there were 21 tournaments in total, far too many for Kyrgios’ liking.
“I’ve said it many times and I’m saying it again now,” he said.
“There are too many clay-court tournaments on the calendar. I see guys in the top 100 that I don’t even know, I wouldn’t recognise them if I crossed them on the street, and they’re there only because of the clay tournaments. I think it’s crazy.”
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