With Little Sleep, Lots Of Nerves, Kyrgios Fixates On Final

  • Posted: Jul 08, 2022

With Little Sleep, Lots Of Nerves, Kyrgios Fixates On Final

Australian looks ahead to his first major championship match

Playing in a Grand Slam final is an opportunity kids around the world dream of. Even Nick Kyrgios, who has rarely shown nerves in his career, admitted Friday that he is feeling the butterflies just thinking about competing on Centre Court Sunday for the Wimbledon trophy.

“I had a shocking sleep last night, though, to be honest. I probably got an hour’s sleep just with everything, like the excitement. I had so much anxiety, I was already feeling so nervous, and I don’t feel nervous usually,” Kyrgios said. “I just know there’s a lot of people that want me to do well and give my best. But I had a shocking sleep last night. Hopefully I can get some sleep tonight.”

The Australian had never advanced past a major quarter-final before this fortnight. In the quarter-finals, Kyrgios defeated Chilean Cristian Garin. On Thursday evening, he learned his semi-final opponent, Rafael Nadal, had withdrawn, sending the 27-year-old into the championship match. “Every little thought” was running through Kyrgios’ head.

“I was just restless, so many thoughts in my head about a Wimbledon final. That’s all I was thinking about,” Kyrgios said. “I was thinking just playing, obviously imagining myself winning, imagining myself losing, everything.”

You May Also Like:

The Tour – Food Court: Kyrgios On Love For Sushi & His Cooking Skills

The good news for the No. 40 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings is that this is not his first experience at the tail end of a major. Earlier this year, he partnered Thanasi Kokkinakis to the Australian Open doubles title. Although singles and doubles are different physically, Kyrgios found that finding the late-tournament rhythm has made him more comfortable this time.

“You just have to ride the waves, roll with the punches in a Grand Slam. Like, you just don’t know. You really don’t know. You could be four points away from losing the tournament, then 11 days later you’re in the final,” said Kyrgios, who needed five sets in his first-round match against Paul Jubb. “I just feel like I kind of just take it as it comes now more so than what I used to.”

Follow Wimbledon Live Scores, Draws & Schedule | Download ATP WTA Live App

Kyrgios was looking forward to the opportunity in the semi-finals to face Rafael Nadal, who leads their ATP Head2Head series 6-3. But first and foremost, the Australian wishes that the 22-time major winner recovers quickly.

“It’s not the way I wanted to get to the final. As a competitor, I really did want that match. It was obviously something that as soon as I beat Garin, Rafa was a high possibility, someone I’ve had so many good battles with before. We’ve both taken a win against each other at this tournament. I really did want to see how the third chapter was going to go,” Kyrgios said. “Obviously you never want to see someone like that, so important to the sport, go down with an injury like that. He’s just played so much tennis. He’s had a grueling season. I just hope he recovers. I’m sure I’ll play him again on a big stage.”

Now the six-time ATP Tour singles titlist’s sights are fully set on Sunday’s final, in which he will face six-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic or Briton Cameron Norrie.

“Whether I win or lose on Sunday, I’m going to be happy. It’s such a great achievement that I thought I’d never be a part of,” Kyrgios said. “Especially at 27, I feel this is, like, for me, I thought it was the later stages of my career. But I just never thought it would be right here. I have a chance.”


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Nick Kyrgios (@k1ngkyrg1os)

Kyrgios on Friday posted a picture on social media of himself as a young junior holding a tennis racquet. That boy from Canberra has come a long way.

“I never thought I’d be here at all, to be brutally honest with you. Obviously when I was No. 1 junior in the world and I was playing here as a junior, I can’t give enough credit to juniors, what it did for my confidence. Being around the Grand Slams at that young age, being around some of the top players, the facility, I don’t think I would have had the breakthrough in the men’s so quickly. But I never thought that I’d be playing,” Kyrgios said. “I saw some of the professionals walking around and I’d be a junior here, and I never thought I’d be playing for the actual men’s title. I feel like it’s the pinnacle of tennis. Once you are able to raise a Grand Slam trophy, I mean, kind of what else is there to achieve?

“So I never thought I’d be here. I’m just super proud and I’m just ready to go. I’m going to give it my all and we’ll see what happens.”

Listen to Nick Kyrgios talk about his grass-court pedigree in this interview from earlier in the grass season…

Source link