Nick Kyrgios claims he ‘can beat anyone’ at Wimbledon as he chases elusive first Grand Slam but insists the tennis world ‘would still say something negative’ if he won
- Nick Kyrgios has expressed his desire to end his wait for Grand Slam glory
- Kyrgios believes that he is capable of beating any opponent at Wimbledon
- The world No 45 gets his tournament underway as he takes on Brit Paul Jubb
Will this be Nick Kyrgios’s year at Wimbledon? He’s got the talent to become a Grand Slam champion, but that debate over the Australian’s application continues to crop up when in his company.
It was broached at his press conference on Sunday, though the topic wasn’t brought up by journalists. Instead it was Kyrgios himself who wanted to talk about accusations of him being an underachiever.
‘I’m one of the people that has to deal with that every week,’ said Kyrgios, 27. ‘Like, “Oh, he’s probably one of the biggest wastes of talent. He should be winning a Slam”.
Nick Kyrgios has revealed his determination to end his wait for a Grand Slam success
‘Not many people have actually gotten over that hump in singles. It’s obviously something I want to get over, and hopefully one day. I know from a confidence standpoint, I’m never low on that.
‘I’ve played top-10 players in the world this year and made them look pretty ordinary. I know where my game’s at. I know if I’m feeling confident, I’m playing well, I’m able to just light it up kind of whenever I want.’
This will be Kyrgios’s eighth attempt at winning Wimbledon, his best record being a quarter-final appearance at his SW19 debut in 2014.
He will start the 2022 edition by facing a promising Brit in Paul Jubb, the 22-year-old from a Hull council estate.
Kyrgios believes that he is capable of beating anybody as he gets ready for Wimbledon
Kyrgios is world No 45 compared to Jubb’s 219, though the Australian says he doesn’t care about rankings, hence why he didn’t mind taking a break from tennis between April and June.
‘That’s who I am,’ Kyrgios said. ‘I don’t want to be the type of player that’s going to play all year long. I don’t want to be spending seven, eight months on the road anymore. It’s not something I really care about. Rankings and all that, it’s not something I chase.
‘I’ve been playing some really good tennis on the grass. Mentally, I’m feeling ready. It’s another Grand Slam. I’m never going to take it for granted. I’m super proud to be here. It’s a special energy.’
Kyrgios splits opinion among spectators. Some like his mischievousness, like those sneaky under-arm serves which Jubb will need to beware. Others dislike that side to the Australian and are unwilling to forgive and forget those old accusations of him tanking matches in frustration.
Paul Jubb, who is ranked at No219, will have to be wary of Kyrgios’ sneaky under-arm serves
‘They would still say something negative,’ he said when asked how the tennis world would react to him winning a Grand Slam, smiling.
On what the key is to him winning seven matches in succession to be crowned Wimbledon champion, Kyrgios said: ‘Good sleep. Good rest. Make sure your body is in good nick.’
No trips to the Dog & Fox, then – the Wimbledon pub that’s become a favourite of Kyrgios’s in the past. He was spotted there in 2019, the night before facing Rafael Nadal on Centre Court.
‘For me, I just know if I’m serving well and I’m playing well, I can beat anyone,’ added Kyrgios, confident as ever that this 2022 could indeed be his year.
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