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"Just the buzz that she brought, broken history with the amount of people buying tickets and viewing; that's my goal" - Nick Kyrgios on Serena Williams

Anirudh
Nick Kyrgios and Serena Williams.
Nick Kyrgios and Serena Williams.

Nick Kyrgios is hoping to emulate Serena Williams and contribute to the growth of tennis as she has over two decades of her incredible career.

The Australian began his 2022 US Open campaign with a straight-sets win against compatriot and close friend Thanasi Kokkinakis on Monday. The 23rd seed beat Kokkinakis 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4) to reach the second round, where he will face Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi.

The 27-year-old was in action at the Arthur Ashe Stadium just minutes after Williams' electrifying opening-round match that attracted a 29,402-strong crowd, the largest attendance ever recorded for an evening session at the stadium.

During his post-match on-court interview, Kyrgios stated that his goal was to help tennis grow as much as possible, similar to what the 40-year-old Williams has done over the course of her career.

"Oh yeah [I was watching Serena Williams’ match]. Well, you know, I can't imagine how she's feeling and I was actually watching the match with my girlfriend in the lounge. She was really excited. Just the buzz that she brought, broken history with the amount of people buying tickets and viewing which is incredible. That's my goal, to grow the sport as much as I can. So hopefully Serena can keep going and I can go on as well," he said.
Kyrgios painting lines 🎨 https://t.co/Ia727Wxw2w

"To play one of my probably best friends after Serena's possible last match, with a record-breaking attendance, it's insane" - Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios went head-to-head with close friend Thanasi Kokkinakis at the 2022 US Open.
Nick Kyrgios went head-to-head with close friend Thanasi Kokkinakis at the 2022 US Open.

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis have been close friends for close to two decades. They have teamed up to compete in doubles at various tournaments, earning the nickname 'Special Ks', and won the doubles title at the Australian Open earlier this year.

At his post-match press conference, Kyrgios recalled his thoughts when the US Open draw was announced, showing him and Kokkinakis going head-to-head right after Serena Williams' match.

"Schedule came out. I saw that I was following Serena, two days before I'm playing. I'm kind of thinking, this is probably going to be the biggest match not of her career, but the US Open is probably not going to have a bigger match. To follow that, it's a special opportunity. To play one of my probably best friends after Serena's possible last match, with a record-breaking attendance, it's insane," he said.
US OPEN: Kyrgios wins 6-3, 6-4, 7⁷-6⁴. He was pretty calm and focused, stadium definitely lacked energy after the Serena match earlier.

He stated that knowing the draw well in advance helped him deal with the rush of emotions, especially as he registered his 200th career win on Monday night.

"I feel like knowing the draw three or four days before actually going out there actually helped a lot. Initially when you see the draw, you have this rush of emotion. You don't really know how to deal with it. Then you have, like, four days to find your feet, knowing who you're playing," he said.
"A night I'm never going to forget. My 200th win as well. A couple accolades today. It was good. I'd rather play after Serena, because the crowd was amazing still, the atmosphere was electric. It was fun," he added.

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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