Just 21, Nick Kyrgios seems like a veteran at Wimbledon. The brash Australian stunned Rafael Nadal in his Wimbledon debut two years ago and last year beat Milos Raonic to make the fourth round (he lost to Richard Gasquet). Now, he comes in as a Top 15 seed and is ready to take it even further. But he’ll open against the tricky veteran Radek Stepanek.
“It is obviously pretty exciting for me to be the 15th seed, but to play Stepanek is pretty tough,” Kyrgios said. “I’m really good mates with him as well. He was offering to help me a little bit. He’s getting towards the end of his career. He’s still playing some great tennis. I know it’s going to be very tough. I feel like grass is his best surface.
“If I get through that, Dustin Brown is in that section as well. For me, they’re just fun matches. I’m not looking too far ahead. I know Kyrgios-Murray would be pretty exciting, but I’ve got some tough matches ahead.”
Since his outbursts a year ago, Kyrgios has been pretty quiet this season, letting his racquet do the talking for the most part. And he hopes success continues on the grass.
“I feel that grass is a surface where most of the Australians can do fairly well. I feel I can do fairly well, as well,” he said. “In Australia, we are fortunate enough to have tournaments on grass for younger kids. Fundamentals, serving big, trying to play aggressive, I think that carries through.
And he added that if things break right, who knows who takes the title.
“There’s so many players at the moment that can make deep runs. Goffin, Thiem,” Kyrgios said. “Especially on grass as well, there’s so many guys that can serve big, play big. If the stars align, they can do well.
“I feel there are a lot of title contenders. Say Djokovic loses in the fourth round – I don’t know, he was down two sets to love against Anderson last year. If something like that happens, there’s plenty of people who can have their eye on the trophy this year.”
Kyrgios and Stepanek will meet on Monday. And if seedings hold, he’d face Andy Murray a week from Monday in the fourth round.
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