Nick Kyrgios was having none of Alexander Zverev’s slander. Picture: Getty Images
Nick Kyrgios was having none of Alexander Zverev’s slander. Picture: Getty Images

Kyrgios: ‘Sorry for whatever I've done to you, Alexander’

NICK Kyrgios has played a dead bat to Alexander Zverev's stinging critique, preferring to concentrate on his own challenges while backing a string of young compatriots to shape the Australian Open.

Kyrgios was mystified by the German's comments that: "There's a lot of young guys that are right now, no offence, just better than him.

"I think Stefanos (Tsitsipas) is better than him. Just simply because he is better over five sets and that's what you need as well.

"This is not a three-set match where you can win in an hour-and-20 (minutes) and get off the court.

"To beat the best, you have to play at your best for a longer period of time."

Zverev said Kyrgios wasn't as good as Alex de Minaur.

"In fact, Alex de Minaur is just simply more consistent right now as well," Zverev said.

"I don't know why not a lot of people talk about him, because he's been playing unbelievable at the ATP Cup."

Kyrgios, who meets Italian Lorenzo Sonego in the first round, refused to bite.

"I'm not going to entertain that too much," Kyrgios said.

"With everything going on, that's the least of my worries.

"He's (Zverev) a great player. I'm not quite sure where those comments come from.

"I'm sure he didn't mean them in a bad way. But if he did, then I'm sorry for whatever I've done to you.

"I mean, I'm not going to entertain that too much."

Alexander Zverev’s time might be better spent worrying about winning a maiden Grand Slam than panning Aussie Nick Kyrgios. Picture: AAP
Alexander Zverev’s time might be better spent worrying about winning a maiden Grand Slam than panning Aussie Nick Kyrgios. Picture: AAP

Kyrgios is one of 11 Australian men in main draw contention, with the injured de Minaur absent.

"We have a big crop of guys coming through - not coming through, but in main draw, which is exciting," Kyrgios said.

"These guys are all capable to play.

"They're all different personalities, as well, which I think is a lot of fun for Australian tennis."

Kyrgios said wildcard Christopher O'Connell and qualifier Max Purcell could make inroads.

"He's (O'Connell) always been a great player. I'm not surprised we're seeing him do well really anywhere," Kyrgios said.

"He's got a great game. He's a great athlete.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he makes some noise here either.

"And Purcell is a young guy who had nothing to lose in 'qualies.'

"He's made the most of his opportunity."

Kyrgios could face world No.1 Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.

But the Spaniard has no interest in looking that far ahead as he prepares to face Bolivian Hugo Dellien.

"I am not focused on one particular player in terms of his personal improvements, no?," Nadal said.

"Everybody knows who is Kyrgios. Everybody knows how big is his talent, how good he is when he wants to play at his best, when he's able to play at his best.

"His chances are always there. He is one of these players that have chances in every tournament that he plays."

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