Wimbledon: Kyrgios ready to 'light it up' as Australian star criticises ban on Russians

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Nick Kyrgios is convinced he can make Wimbledon stars "look pretty ordinary" and insists he will embrace being a crowd "villain" when he starts against British wildcard Paul Jubb.

The Australian world number 45 has looked sharp on grass already this month, reaching semi-finals in Stuttgart and Halle, where his runs were ended by Andy Murray and Hubert Hurkacz respectively.

Kyrgios, who could play Queen's Club Championship runner-up Filip Krajinovic in round two at Wimbledon, expects to have only a small portion of support when he begins against 22-year-old Jubb.

That match is set for Tuesday, and Kyrgios believes he is playing well enough to win through comfortably, ahead of the more obvious tests of his game that lie ahead.

Renowned as an immensely talented firebrand, the 27-year-old would rather be remembered as a grand slam champion, but there are some major obstacles blocking his path to that objective.

"I've played top-10 players in the world this year and made them look pretty ordinary," he said.

That claim is not without merit, given Kyrgios beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in Halle, Andrey Rublev in Miami, and Casper Ruud in Indian Wells.

He is picking and choosing when he competes to allow himself plenty of time to spend with friends and family, and is determined to find a successful work-life balance.

"I know where my game's at," Kyrgios added. "I know if I'm confident and playing well, I'm able to light it up whenever I want. I've got to pick and choose, so when I play, I've got to make sure I'm having some good results and putting in my best effort.

"If I figured that out earlier in my career, maybe the narrative may have been different, but I'm proud to be where I am at the moment.

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

Kyrgios lost to Russian Daniil Medvedev in the second round of the Australian Open in January and is disappointed the world number one has been banned, along with all Russian and Belarusian players, from Wimbledon.

That position has been taken because of the Russian-led invasion of Ukraine, but Kyrgios said: "My honest opinion is I don't think it was a good idea to ban the Russian players.

"Medvedev is the best we have in our sport right now. I think whenever we have cameras on and a lot of people tuning in, you want a lot of our players to be on showcase for the sport to grow.

"I'm disappointed that they're not here. It's weird not seeing Medvedev here, because we all know what he's capable of."

Medvedev will be far away from SW19 when Kyrgios begins his campaign against Judd.

The 'bad boy' image has stuck to Kyrgios, and he has often not helped his cause, with a string of incidents of volatile behaviour in his past. He accepts the crowd will be siding with the underdog on Tuesday.

"I'm used to wearing that black hat, the villain-type role, and I've just got to embrace it," he continued.

"I'm going to go out there and just play my game. If you look at the results of the last couple of weeks, if I just stick to my guns, the results say I should win pretty easy.

"But I know that's not going to be the case, so I've got to be focused."

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