Kyrgios happy to make ‘top 10 players look ordinary’
London (AFP) – Nick Kyrgios resumes his bittersweet relationship with Wimbledon by promising to continue to make “the top 10 players look ordinary”.
The unstable Australian rose to prominence at the All England Club in 2014 when ranked 114th in the world, he stunned two-time champion Rafael Nadal.
Since then, Kyrgios has beaten the stars and upset the administration while delighting his army of fans.
“I’ve played the top 10 players in the world this year and made them pretty ordinary,” the 27-year-old said on Sunday.
“I know where my game is. I know if I feel confident I’m playing well, I’m able to turn it on whenever I want.”
The facts back him up.
After missing the entire season on clay, Kyrgios excelled on grass this summer, reaching back-to-back semi-finals in Stuttgart and Halle.
World number six Stefanos Tsitsipas fell to the Australian in Halle. It was the Greek’s third loss in four meetings for Kyrgios.
Other top members such as Andrey Rublev and Casper Ruud also fell victim to a sometimes inspired Kyrgios in 2022.
Kyrgios reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2014 thanks to his famous victory over Nadal.
However, recent visits have not been so successful and he is yet to make it past the fourth round in his last six visits.
Along the way he was accused of tanking, complained about the state of the grass last year while admitting he deliberately threw a ball at Nadal in the moody rematch of the pair in 2019.
Kyrgios knows he has the tools to redo the second week at Wimbledon.
“I know that if I serve well and play well, I can beat anyone. I’ve already beaten everyone in the draw,” he said.
“It’s difficult. It’s like few people have overcome the hurdle of winning a slam. I’m one of those who have to deal with this every week.
“Like, Oh, he’s probably one of the biggest wastes of talent. He should win a Slam.”
Kyrgios will always play in front of the public.
In recent seasons, he’s asked fans for advice on serve placement, perfected the underarm serve, and even once demanded a beer while playing French Open.
The darker side of the coin saw thousands of dollars in fines and a suspended 16-week ban in 2019.
“The crowd knows I’m going to try to bring a lot of energy, bring a lot of flair and fun,” Kyrgios said.
“I think it’s just something I come up with now. I can’t really get over it. It’s just something I want to do too.”
Another thing he would like to see is a relaxation of the All England Club’s strict all-white dress code, suggesting allowing a black headband or blindfold.
“I think it would look cool. Obviously Wimbledon doesn’t really care what looks cool,” he said.
© 2022 AFP