Until last Friday, the day of the draw, some people probably had nightmares. And the two monsters, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, were perhaps part of it. On grass, in full possession of his means, Nick Kyrgios represents a certain danger and facing him in the first round is a challenge that no one wants to come up against. Finally, it was the 22-year-old Briton Paul Jubb, 219th in the world unknown to the general public and invited by the organization, who inherited it, to the great relief of all the ambitious players in the table for this Wimbledon 2022.
But no doubt also to the great joy of the whimsical Australian. Because if he is not one of the 32 seeds, Kyrgios is having a more than interesting season if we relate it to the number of tournaments he has played. He was 137th in the world last February and he now displays the number 40, and this having almost completely missed out (he played in Houston in April) on the clay court season. After a two-month break, he thus resumed as if nothing had happened, chaining two semi-finals in Stuttgart and Halle before forfeiting in the second round in Mallorca a few days ago because of abdominal pain.
Nadal, Kyrgios, Berrettini and co. hit the ball before Wimbledon
06/25/2022 At 11:48
Since I don’t play often, I have to make sure I give my best
“I’ve been playing a lot lately, I’ve had good results, beaten some very good players and I’m happy with my level of play. It’s one of the best preparations on the pitch of my career. In Mallorca I had to withdraw because I felt the fatigue was coming, and even though there are no points at stake here, I really wanted to be in a state to play well and fully concentrate on Wimbledon.“, he explained in his pre-tournament press conference.
The artist Kyrgios deprived of the final: the summary of his defeat against Hurkacz
No worries therefore for Kyrgios when embarking on the fortnight. The Australian just knows himself better and better and has applied the precautionary principle to give himself the best chance of being competitive. After several years on the circuit, he now knows what he needs to give his full potential. He hasn’t forgotten that his body betrayed him last year when he started off pretty well in his third round against Félix Auger-Aliassime (2-6, 6-1, ab.) .
“When you’re from Australia it’s hard to balance time with family and friends and the circuit. I don’t want to spend 7-8 months in a row traveling anymore. Ranking doesn’t matter to me. I’ve played a few Top 10 players this year (4 wins for 2 losses, Editor’s note) and I made them pretty plain. I know that when I feel confident, I’m able to raise my level whenever I want. And since I don’t play often, I have to make sure I get good results when I decide to play and give my best. If I had understood this earlier in my career, maybe my story would have been different..”
Nadal in 2014, a feat without a future… so far
Much better in his sneakers and well prepared on the grass, Kyrgios has regained ambition. To the point of considering in recent weeks, in his own style, that he was part of the Top 10 or even the Top 5 on grass. From the simple point of view of his potential, the Australian may be right but the facts are cruel: he has not reached the second week at Wimbledon since 2016 and his best result at the All England Club remains a quarter-final in 2014 at the age of 19, after his famous eighth victory over Rafael Nadal.
Tweener, amortized, underhand serve … Kyrgios feasted against Carreno Busta
Can he finally afford the long-awaited breakthrough since this first feat eight years ago? If the 1st round should give him the opportunity to settle, his probable duel against Filip Krajinovic, finalist at Queen’s, in the 2nd should be an important first test. Before a possible highly anticipated 3rd round against Stefanos Tsitsipas. This first week will therefore probably not be easy but could allow him to gain momentum. After all, didn’t he beat the Greek in Halle? Once in the round of 16, all dreams would then be allowed.
Kyrgios undoubtedly has the game to triumph at Wimbledon, but repeating what he has shown in recent weeks in best-of-five sets from seven straight matches is nothing short of trivial. So how do you get there? The interested party has his little idea.
Wimbledon holds a special fascination for him
“Sleep well, rest well, already. Make sure the body is okay. But I just know that if I serve well and play well, I can beat anyone. I beat almost everyone in the draw before. There are few people who have had the opportunity to win a Grand Slam. But every week I hear about me: ‘Oh he’s one of the greatest wasted talents in tennis, he should win Majors’. But very few have succeeded. Of course I want to get rid of this label one day“, he asserted.
Spread the word, the Australian is motivated and knows he has something to play for. But he does not intend to put the cart before the horse, aware of his past limits.
“I still trust. I had good runs at Wimbledon and the Australian Open and I always faced top players. I faced Murray here in the eighth when he won the final 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 (the Scot had actually won 6-4, 7-6, 7-6 against Raonic in 2016, editor’s note). My best chance of winning a Grand Slam was in 2014 when I made the quarterfinals: I had a set and a break lead against Raonic. I have never been closer. First of all, I have to concentrate on the first laps, to get through them as quickly as possible. But I don’t think about winning yet. I’m going to practice and we’ll see what happens.”
It would certainly be intriguing to see Kyrgios tumble into the second week with confidence at the zenith. In any case, motivation should not be a problem, as Wimbledon and its Center Court exert a particular fascination on him. “There is a special energy, when you step into it you think of past champions and their history, and even all the players who have played there before“, he considered. And if it was time to show that he can, too, be part of it?
A passing “so Kyrgios” and Tsitsipas remains speechless
06/15/2022 At 15:51
An explosive standoff and Kyrgios sinks Tsitsipas
06/15/2022 At 15:50