Kyrgios separates Medvedev from New York (and from number one) – EL PAÍS

Nick Kyrgios stares straight ahead and shrugs. He has just sentenced Daniil Medvedev with an ace, to whom he deals a withering double thrust: he separates the Russian from the fight for the title – which he defended after last year’s success, in which he beat Novak Djokovic – and dethrones him. That is to say, starting next Monday there will be a new king. The 7-6 (11), 3-6, 6-3 and 6-2 (in 2h53) that culminates his plan redraws the New York tournament and reduces the race to occupy the world chair to three names: Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud. One of them will be the new number one. Kyrgios unhorses the champion from a year ago and makes a declaration of intent: yes, things are serious. He already hinted at it at the beginning of the summer at Wimbledon, where he managed to land in the final and could only be stopped by Djokovic, and reaffirms his will – more or less lasting, fleeting or not, it will be seen – to become a real tennis player and respond to those expectations generated by its enormous potential. Kyrgios is still Kyrgios. He continues the show and leaves the occasional outburst, but apparently he is not bluffing. The events of the last two months confirm this.More informationThe 27-year-old Australian decided to erase the clay court tour from his calendar and concentrate his efforts on English grass and American cement. At the moment, the bet has not gone badly for him, since he is the player who has registered the most wins (26) since June; he got a bounty in Washington – ATP 500, below the majors and thousands on the scale –, worked his way through the sanctuary of London and is now progressing with conviction at Flushing Meadows, where he is running for the top. The next hurdle for him will be Karen Khachanov, Pablo Carreño’s executioner. “Today I played very well; in fact, I have done it for the last two months”, he congratulates. “I’m still trying to figure out when I clicked in my head. I try to work hard every day, go to every training, sleep well… Before, I would probably be out there every night. I have a great girlfriend who helps me, you know, and my team. It’s all for them”, he continues at the foot of the track, after raising a near-perfect storm (57 winning shots) and leaving an unusual scene, unnecessarily finishing off a ball that did not enter, invading the other side of the track. The regulations prohibit it, of course. Again, the absurd “I still don’t believe what happened at that point. I thought it was legal. It’s going to come out everywhere and I’m going to look like an idiot,” he says. The reaction of Medvedev, the stands and the judge has been one of disbelief. It is the surreal (and absurd) note of a party that chooses with authority and that affects its preponderance over the Russian, whom it has beaten four of the five times they have crossed paths; two in less than a month. Gifted with superlative shooting conditions, his mechanics leave a lot to be desired, and from that angle his game suffers. He trusts everything to inspiration and improvisation, although if he picks up the pace it’s hard to stop him. Fighting with the world – “many coaches told me that he was not going to be good” –, he has improved but his behavior continues to leave much to be desired. Without going any further, in the second round he threw a spit on the track because, he alleged, “he smelled of marijuana” and he is asthmatic, so it was difficult for him to breathe when he ran from one place to another. “I have been away from home for four months, all we have families we want to see and I don’t want to disappoint them”, he assures, having guaranteed his presence among the top 20 on the circuit. “This is the last trip before going back to Australia. I go game by game, although I want to go to the end if possible”, he continues, “but I’m not going to think about it. I’m happy to finally show New York my talent; I have not had great trips in this city nor have I played very good tennis [su límite es la tercera ronda], so I’m happy to be able to show you the work and dedication. It has taken me 27 years”. You can follow EL PAÍS Deportes on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.