Nick Kyrgios has described his experience of playing doubles with Serena Williams as “uncomfortable”, because he thought he was the better player.
Kyrgios and 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams teamed up for Singapore Slammers at the International Premier Tennis League in 2014, losing 6-3 to Kirsten Flipkens and Daniel Nestor.
Speaking about the match on his No Boundaries podcast, Kyrgios said: “I’ve hit with Serena before. I played mixed doubles with her at IPTL and it was the most uncomfortable experience for me because she was trying to do everything. And I was like ‘I’m better than you’.
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“There are some sports where the levels [between men and women] are quite similar…but deep down I was like ‘Serena you have to get me involved here, we’re getting snipped, give me the ball!’”
The comments are in contrast to Kyrgios’ views on playing doubles with Venus Williams at Wimbledon earlier this summer.
The Australian described that experience as a “dream come true” and said Venus is a “legend” of the sport.
Kyrgios has only played five matches on the ATP Tour since Wimbledon and has been recovering from injury in preparation for the Australian Open in January.
While Kyrgios has sometimes been viewed as an underachiever due to the talents at his disposal, he says he is happy with the path he has chosen.
“Every single day of my life I deal with people telling me how to be or how to train or how to hit a forehand. I feel that as a 26-year-old I am in a pretty good spot, I help a lot of people, I have a lot of options, I’m healthy, I’ve got great friends and those are my goals right now.
“When I was young I wasn’t thinking about winning Grand Slams, I just wanted to have fun.”
Kyrgios also acknowledged that he doesn’t have the same drive as many of the other top players.
“I love the game but I'm not passionate or driven as they are. They're like once in a generation, once in a decade athletes.
Watch the moment Boston Celtics superfan Kyrgios walks out at TD Garden
"There's no chance that [Roger] Federer or [Rafael] Nadal or Novak [Djokovic] or [Andy] Murray doesn't love it. If you watch Murray's documentary, he's having phone calls in the middle of the night at 3am to his team saying, 'I'm scared to not play, like I don't know what I'm going to do without the sport.' That's not me.
“You have to pick what you want, do you want fun or more titles? You can have a little balance but I have picked my poison. I am happy.
Asked how he reacts when people say he should have had more success in tennis, Kyrgios added: “I just say it’s my life. It’s so easy to tell people what to do… you can’t tell people how to live their life.”
Serena Williams could join Kyrgios in making her return to action at the Australian Open in January.
The American has not played since Wimbledon due to injury but suggested last month that she would compete in Melbourne as she aims to win a record-equalling 24th major.
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