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Nick Kyrgios can become World No.1 and win a Grand Slam, says Rafael Nadal

Nadal also heaped praise on rising German star Alexander Zverev.

Nick Kyrgios Rafael Nadal
In a breakthrough 2016 season, the Australian has climbed to as high as No. 13 in the world rankings

As the famous Big Four quartet of ATP is gradually approaching the twilight of their careers, the next generation is fast rising. Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev have already given enough glimpses of their immense talent and look very much the potential candidates to take over from the Big Four once they retire.

Now they have been singled out by none other than Rafael Nadal as the ones to watch out for in the future, as reported by Tennismash. The 14-time Grand Slam champion recently endorsed both of these promising youngsters as his picks to lead the upcoming generation during a Tommy Hilfiger promotional event in Madrid.

“Nick Kyrgios is already at the top, a player who has an unbelievable potential,” Nadal said about the 21-year-old.

In a breakthrough 2016 season, the Australian has climbed to as high as No. 13 in the world rankings on the back of winning three ATP titles. However, controversy has been the second name for the mercurial young gun whose on-court tantrums and behaviour have regularly come under attack. 

No stranger to fines and bans, he was recently in the news for wrongdoings yet again. His apparent lack of trying during a match at the Shanghai Masters has invited a suspension which will be reduced on the event of him agreeing to see a sports psychologist.

Clearly, he is yet to master the art of undivided focus and Nadal pointed that out, adding that he does have it in him to win a Grand Slam and become the World No. 1.

“He has [to] focus on himself, and can become world No.1 and win a Grand Slam.”

Rafa also talked about Kyrgios’ compatriot and fellow rising star, Thanasi Kokkinakis. The two have long been hailed as Australia’s brightest future talent. However, Kokkinakis’s rise was cut short by a series of injuries that ravaged his 2016 season. 

The former World No. 1 was thus cautious while speaking about the 20-year-old and stressed that it needs to be seen how he will evolve after his comeback from injury.

“In this new generation you will need to see how Kokkinakis will evolve, he suffered an injury and we don’t know how he will come back, but he has the potential to be at the top,” Nadal said.

Zverev is a complete player: Nadal

Rafa was, however, effusive in his praise for Germany’s 19-year-old Alexander Zverev. He won his maiden career title after toppling the US Open winner Stan Wawrinka at St. Petersburg and notched up 44 wins in an impressive season.

Nadal played Zverev in a dramatic match at the Indian Wells Masters this year where the German held a match point before bowing out to the Spaniard in three sets. 

There is no doubt that one meeting enlightened Rafa about Zverev’s enormous potential. The nine-time French Open winner has now gone on to call the teen a ‘complete player’ and believes the 6’6’’ youngster will be one of the strongest players.

“To me the one that has more chances is Zverev, a complete player in every aspect of the game,” Nadal said.

“I think he will be one of the strongest players,” added the 30-year-old.


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