Roger Federer has suggested Nick Kyrgios is probably not ready to win a grand slam, but the 21-year-old believes he can do so over the next fortnight at the Australian Open.
In an interview ahead of the tournament, 17-time slam-winner Federer acknowledged Kyrgios was capable of beating any of the top players, but suggested the Australian was unlikely to string together the consecutive victories needed to go all the way on the biggest stage.
Invited to respond to those comments following his first-round thrashing of Gastao Elias at Melbourne Park, Kyrgios initially replied: "I'm not going to say anything back to him about it. Obviously it's his opinion. Everybody has it.
"We'll see. You know, I've done everything I can so far. I don't really know what to say. What can I say? It's Roger. I can't really say anything to him."
Later in the news conference, Federer's words were brought up again, prompting Kyrgios to slip in a mention of the pair's only meeting to date - at the 2015 Madrid Masters.
"It doesn't bother me at all," added the 14th seed. "I know he's the greatest of all time. I know I just want to do my own thing. I played him once, I beat him once.
Asked if he was ready to win the Australian Open this year, Kyrgios added: "Well, if I didn't think I'd win it, why would I play? I think I can win it. I've beaten pretty much everyone in the draw before. So I think so.
"I just want to go out there and have fun, try and enjoy myself, try and strip it back and just play some tennis.
Loved being out there tonight on Hisense Arena. Thanks to everyone that came out and supported.-- Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) January 16, 2017
"I thought I had some fun [against Elias]. Yeah, I just want to get back to it and try to have fun again and really enjoy it. I know I can do well at these tournaments.
"My level has been great all the last year. I'm 13 in the world. I'm not in a bad space. Try and be positive, try and enjoy myself a little bit."