Nick Kyrgios has been tipped as the player who has the power to “bring down” Novak Djokovic in the Serb’s bid to set a new Grand Slam record in men’s tennis and surpass his long-time rival Rafael Nadal. Retired Australian pro Wally Masur claimed that the world No 20 has a better chance of upsetting Djokovic in matches than the likes of Aussie Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Djokovic made history on Sunday as he became the first player to win a 10th Australian Open title, while he also matched Nadal’s record of 22 overall Grand Slams. The world No 1 dropped just one set all tournament in the second round and beat third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 7-6(4) 7-6(5), proving that he is still untouchable despite the rise of the next generation.
Following his performance in Melbourne, the retired Masur has claimed that it’s 27-year-old Kyrgios who has a better chance of defeating Djokovic at tournaments than most of the players being touted as the next big thing. Asked if there was anyone who could possibly bring down the 35-year-old in his quest for history in the GOAT race, the former world No 15 told Grand Slam Daily: “Yes, I think Nick Kyrgios can.”
But Masur wasn’t writing off the next generation just yet, as he claimed there were plenty of talented players in the top 30 who could also make waves on the tour but said they needed to work hard for it. “There are players that can do it but you’ve got to have unbelievable firepower,” he continued.
“There are a few of those players around, but they’ve [still] got to put it together on the big stage.” Naming a few he thought could impress, Masur turned to the likes of Carlos Alcaraz, who became the youngest ATP No 1 in history last year and was dethroned by Djokovic at the top.
Masur said: “I’ll be interested to see what Alcaraz can do, [Jannik] Sinner is improving all the time, Frances Tiafoe – there are players I feel with enough weaponry and I think that is really the key.
“You’ve got to have enough weaponry. I don’t want time to beat these great champions. The only thing that defeats them at the moment is time. I want the next generation to step up and beat them but it’s not proving too easy.”
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