Nick Kyrgios capable of 'making top-10 players look ordinary' at Wimbledon

Australian insists: 'If I'm serving well and I'm playing well, I can beat anyone'

Nick Kyrgios takes on British wild card Paul Jubb in the first round of Wimbledon on Tuesday. PA
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Volatile Australian Nick Kyrgios is looking forward to making "top 10 players look ordinary” at this year's Wimbledon.

Kyrgios blasted his way into All England Club folklore when he defeated Rafael Nadal in 2014 when ranked 114 in the world.

The 27-year-old, who takes on British wild card Paul Jubb in the first round on Tuesday, reached the quarter-finals after beating the Spaniard in the fourth round – his best run at SW19.

His recent visits have not been so fruitful, though, and he has failed to get past the fourth round in his past six visits.

Along the way, he has been accused of tanking, complained about the state of the grass last year, while admitting he deliberately speared a ball at Nadal in the pair's bad-tempered 2019 rematch.

Kyrgios knows he has the tools to make the second week at Wimbledon again.

“I've played top-10 players in the world this year and made them look pretty ordinary,” Kyrgios said on Sunday.

“I know if I'm serving well and I'm playing well, I can beat anyone. I have pretty much beaten everyone in the draw before.

“It's hard. It's like not many people have got over the hump of winning a Slam. I'm one of the people that has to deal with that every week.

“Like, Oh, he's probably one of the biggest wastes of talent. He should be winning a Slam."

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In recent seasons, he has sought the advice of fans on serve placement, perfected the underarm serve and once even demanded a beer while playing at the French Open.

The darker, flip side has seen 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 entertainment,” Kyrgios said.

“I think that's just something I come with now. I can't really get rid of that. It's just something I want to do as well.”

Kyrgios also says he is looking forward to taking on “the villain-type role” when he takes on Jubb, a 22-year-old world No 219 from Yorkshire

“I feel like I can put myself in his shoes very well,” said Kyrgios.

“I was once that kid that got a wild card at the Australian Open – it felt really good just to be around, soak it all in, the media, the fans, everything, the hype.

“I've got to ride the waves emotionally out there because the crowd is obviously going to be behind the local. I'm used to wearing that kind of black hat, the villain-type role. I'm going to embrace it.”

This year's tournament will not have world No 1 Daniil Medvedev in the draw after Wimbledon organisers banned Russian and Belarusian players over the invasion of Ukraine.

Kyrgios says it is a decision he does not agree with. “My honest opinion, I don't think it was a good idea to ban the Russian players,” added the world No 45.

“As a competitor and someone that wants to go up against them, I'm disappointed they're not here. It's weird not seeing Medvedev here. We all know what he's capable of.

“It's done now. I'm sure that they're going to be tuning in and watching, wishing they were here. They wanted to play.”

Updated: June 26, 2022, 4:08 PM
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