Nick Kyrgios believes he “belonged” in the Wimbledon final after losing to Novak Djokovic in four sets on Centre Court.
The Australian maverick’s run to the final has been littered with controversy, and there were times when he looked set to go into full meltdown mode against Djokovic.
But despite a code violation for swearing – which earned him a 4,000 US dollars (£3,300) fine – he recovered his composure and Djokovic had to work as hard as he has all fortnight for his 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 (3) victory.
Kyrgios said: “I felt like, you know, to get to the final, there’s always a bit of anxiety of how it’s going to play out, if you feel worthy to be there. I felt like the trophy was definitely attainable today.
“I played a hell of a first set and put myself in a position to take a stranglehold of the match.
“My level is right there. I feel like you look at what Novak has done to some other opponents, and it’s not a good feeling.
“But I’m right there. I’m not behind the eight ball at all. I played a slam final against one of the greatest of all time, and I was right there.
“It was a hell of an occasion. People were probably expecting me to have something happen today. But I came out in the first set and I looked like I was the one who had played in a lot of finals. I thought I dealt with the pressure pretty well.
“I felt like I belonged, to be honest. I’ve played big finals before. My record in finals is pretty good. I’ve played some very good players in finals.
“I felt like he just has so much experience to draw on. Look, he’s won the tournament I don’t know how many times now, four times in a row.
“I’ve got that under my belt now, a Wimbledon finalist. I can kind of draw from experience.
“I felt like I belonged, though. I feel like my game, my level has always been there. I feel like I’ve kind of put it together a little bit this couple of weeks.”