Nick Kyrgios set to continue Davis Cup snub: ‘It’s an easy one for me’

Nick Kyrgios in action Credit: Alamy
Nick Kyrgios in action Credit: Alamy

Nick Kyrgios insists he had no qualms about accepting a six-figure payday in Saudi Arabia over representing Australia in the Davis Cup, adding it “doesn’t make sense” to play in events where he is “not getting paid that well”.

The 27-year-old was not part of Australia’s squad that finished runner-up to Canada at the Davis Cup Finals in Spain a fortnight ago.

Captain Lleyton Hewitt and Alex de Minaur revealed after the final that they both tried to convince Kyrgios to make himself available for selection, but he refused to budge.

The world No 22, though, snapped back when asked why he was not playing in the tournament, saying “About to go to Saudi for 6 figures actually.”

The Saudi Arabia comment was in reference to the controversial Diriyah Tennis Cup where the winner will receive $1,000,000 and the runner-up will walk away with a cheque of $500,000.

In an interview with AAP, Kyrgios was asked if he would consider returning to the Davis Cup fold in future and replied: “Maybe, who knows?

“Adding another week in Europe in Malaga wasn’t really what was on my wish list. If it was in Australia, maybe it would have been a different story. But who knows?

“It’s not always easy for me to erase everything in Australia that’s said negatively about me or my family, you don’t need that – so it’s interesting that they really want me to play, but are always criticising.

“Look, I’ve always been one of the best players in the world – I’ve always held up my fair share of the bargain towards Australia.

“I feel like this is the first year I’ve earned respect when it should have been given when I first came on tour.

“I’ve represented them, put them on the map, and having produced one of the most successful male years in the last decade for Australia, and am only just getting embraced (now), I don’t think that’s my fault.”

Kyrgios last represented Australia in the Davis Cup in 2019 and since then his stock has risen considerably as he won the Australian Open men’s doubles title alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis and finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final.

He insisted that playing in Saudi Arabia for six figures was “an easy decision” and he will continue to op for bigger paydays.

“At this point of my career, I’ll always do what’s best for me,” he said.

“I can travel around the world playing exhibitions around this time of year for six figures – you know I feel I put myself in that position – so it’s an easy one for me.

“I’ll easily take time with my family and my girlfriend and enjoy experiences around the world and earn that type of money rather than play a week away in something where I wouldn’t be able to be with my girlfriend and I’m not getting paid that well.

“(That) doesn’t really make sense to me and my progression as an athlete.”

READ MORE: Stunning prize money on offer for contentious Saudi Arabia tournament

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