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Kyrgios: Playing it Safe Is Too Risky

By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Supreme shotmaker Nick Kyrgios has delivered the most dynamic tennis of his career this year.

The Wimbledon finalist has also experienced epiphany about his game.

More: Kyrgios Claims Second Washington, DC Crown

Playing it safe and engaging in too many conventional crosscourt rallies is just too risky, Kyrgios says.

Tennis Express

The self-coached Kyrgios, who has registered a 15-2 record since the start of Wimbledon, says traditional high-percentage play is actually low-percentage tennis for his style.

The 6'4" Kyrgios, who has unleashed the underarm serve, tweeners, serve-and-volley runs, no-look drop shots and seismic smashes, says there's a method to his shotmaking madness. Shortening points and playing with variety, Kyrgios asserts, is high percentage play for his game style.

"I just feel like I know my game style well and what works," Kyrgios told the media in Cincinnati. "I feel obviously against someone like Fokina or Medvedev, de Minaur, these type of players, if I engage in too many rallies, it's not high percentage. I feel like tennis players get toward high percentages like playing crosscourt, for instance. But for me, that's not high percentage. That's not how I'm going to win matches is by playing easy balls crosscourt.

"For 90% of players, that's high percentage, but for me that's very low-percentage tennis. That's not going to get it done. Against these types of players, I know I have to stay on top of the points, stay aggressive, you know, try and shorten the points where I can, serve and volley, mix it up, slice. I have got to play my type of tennis, and that's high percentage."

The 28th-ranked Kyrgios said his tactical approach is simple: Know what works for your game and try to impose it in the match.

"I feel like high percentage for tennis players is knowing what works for your game style and trying to execute at the highest level," Kyrgios said. "I just feel like I'm really clear on what that is for my game, and I know how other people are trying to play.

"That's the key to it. I feel like me not having a coach has worked. I think the last six months, I don't think many people have achieved that without a coach before, and I feel like that's just something that comes with confidence and knowing your game."

Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty