Nick Kyrgios believes Andy Murray remains one of the most difficult opponents in the world on grass as the Briton looks to reestablish himself in the top levels of the game.
“I think he’s one of the most dangerous players on grass still,” Kyrgios, who lost against Murray in Stuttgart this month, said on Sunday. “I definitely think the way he can handle speed, return, compete, slice, volley, as long as his body is feeling well, I don’t want to see him on the grass at all. I’m playing unbelievable tennis at the moment. That first set was as good a level as anyone can produce on the grass.”
Despite being unseeded, Kyrgios arrives at Wimbledon in some of the best form of his career, compiling a 16-6 record with his limited schedule this year. His only defeat by a player outside the top 20 this year was against Murray. However, during many of those defeats against tough opposition, he imploded mentally.
After winning the Australian Open men’s doubles tournament alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis, Kyrgios will be joining forces with his friend again at Wimbledon despite his lack of enthusiasm about the best‑of‑five‑set format.
“To be honest, I’m not really looking forward to playing best‑of‑five‑sets doubles,” he said. “I think it’s the stupidest thing ever, to be brutally honest. I don’t know why it’s best of five sets.
“No one wants to play best-of-five-sets doubles. No one wants to watch best-of-five-sets doubles. I’m excited, but I’m also dreading the fact that, if it’s one set all, I’m going to have to be playing [two or] three more sets of doubles.”
Meanwhile the fourth seed, Stefanos Tsitsipas, arrived in London after winning his first grasscourt tournament in Mallorca at the weekend, edging out Roberto Bautista Agut in the final. Although he reached his first grand slam fourth round at Wimbledon in 2018, grass has statistically been by far his worst surface and Tsitsipas is yet to reach a quarter-final at Wimbledon. He is hoping to change that narrative this year.
“People kind of doubted that I can play on grass, I think it’s fair to say,” he said. “I never doubted myself. I said – I insisted, in fact – that I can play on it and it remains one of my favourite surfaces that tennis has to offer. I was pretty confident about it. I guess I proved myself last week that it’s not a surface that I don’t like.”