The Laver Cup concluded over the weekend with Team Europe defeating Team World in a dominant display, but Nick Kyrgios revealed at the end of the tournament that this years edition in Boston may be his last.
The Australian has been a regular feature in the annual editions of the tournament since its inception in 2017, playing every year bar 2020 when the event was cancelled due to COVID-19.
After admitting he was planning to travel back to Australia instead of stay on tour until the end of the season, the 26-year-old revealed that he didn't see himself playing professionally in five years.
“Definitely this is my last event of the year,” Kyrgios said.
“I need to go back home. I have been travelling for four and a half months now. My mum is not doing too well with her health. I'd like to go back and see her.
“Obviously, I'll get my body right and I'll start my pre-season, spend time with my family for the Australian Open and go from there. I will reassess.
“I feel like I'm not one of those players now that's going to go hunting for points or hunting for accolades or anything like that,
“I feel like I have nothing left to prove to myself. I'm incredibly proud of what I have achieved. “Where I go from here, everything's a bonus. I'm playing Laver Cup again, and I'm not going to lie, I think this is my last year I will probably play Laver Cup.
“As long as I'm on the court, I will try and give my best, but I'm not going to lie and say that I'm going to plan to play four or five more years on tour. That's just not me”.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) September 26, 2021
Team Europe won for the fourth straight time after impressive performances from their highly ranked team members, prompting some fans to question the long term viability of the tournament.
Team Europe consisted of six players all ranked inside the top 10, including recent US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, while Team World's highest ranked player was Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, world number 11.
Team World won just one point at the conclusion of the tournament, keeping their losing streak alive for another year. One fan wrote on Twitter, questioning the one sided nature of the tournament.
"What's the point of this? Every single Top10 player is from Europe. I like the Laver Cup but this format needs to change..." the tweet read.
What's the point of this? Every single Top10 player is from Europe.
I like the Laver Cup but this format needs to change...
— DK7 (@kaposi_david) September 26, 2021
The tournament, named after Rod Laver, was created after tennis great Roger Federer in consultation with his management Team8, took inspiration from the biennial golf tournament, the Ryder Cup which features players from the United States forming a team against those from Europe.
While the tournament produced strong crowds in Boston, it was overshadowed by the Ryder Cup held on the same weekend. Sponsors, especially with Federer's involvement, won't be hard to come by, but with Team World captain John McEnroe already suggesting that Russian players should be moved from Team Europe to boost their competitiveness in future tournaments, it seems Federer and co have a growing issue on their hands.
The Laver Cup desperately doesn't want to be seen as an exhibition tournament, despite not offering ranking points for those playing, instead the three day juggernaut is being described as something much worse for any global tournament, boring.