Focused and in form, Kyrgios prepares to light up Wimbledon

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Focused and in form, Kyrgios prepares to light up Wimbledon

Wimbledon is famous for its strict all-white dress code – it doesn’t allow players to wear off-white or cream and the measuring tape comes out to ensure the trimmings of colour on necklines and sleeves are no wider than a centimetre.

That policy is no longer cool, says Nick Kyrgios.

Nick Kyrgios – dressed in white – will be back at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Nick Kyrgios – dressed in white – will be back at Wimbledon on Tuesday.Credit:AP

“I always want to wear all black, obviously,” Kyrgios said on Sunday. “I think it would be cool to allow, like, a black headband or black sweatband. I think it would look cool. Obviously, Wimbledon doesn’t really care what looks cool ... I don’t think it will ever change.”

But the prestige associated with Wimbledon was still enough to lure Kyrgios to compete despite the lack of ranking points this year due to a ban on Russian and Belarusian players.

The decision has essentially reduced Wimbledon to an exhibition event – albeit with record prize money.


Kyrgios said he did not agree with a ban that excluded the world’s No.1 Daniil Medvedev, but added that he did not pick tournaments based on the ranking points on offer.

“As a kid, when I watched Wimbledon, when I wanted to play it, I wasn’t thinking about ranking points. I was thinking about playing in the most prestigious tournament in the world. That’s all I’m here for,” he said.

“There’s people that are [saying] ‘I’m not going to play Wimbledon because of ranking points. I’m going to go play a challenger that week’.


“When I’m sitting with my kids in the future, I’m not going to be proud to say I played a challenger instead of Wimbledon. I will choose to play Wimbledon every day of the week.”

A recharged Kyrgios says he’s entering Wimbledon feeling as sharp as he has in years.

He plays his first-round match against British wildcard Paul Jubb on Tuesday and could play countryman Jordan Thompson in round two and fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in round three.

Kyrgios is making no promises, focusing only on negotiating the opening rounds with efficiency.

“I need to focus on the earlier rounds, make sure I get it done as quick as possible,” Kyrgios said. “I’m not even thinking about winning it or anything at the moment.”

There’s no doubt that Kyrgios looms as an unseeded danger at the All England Club after emerging from a mid-season hiatus to reach back-to-back semi-finals in Halle and Stuttgart.


Kyrgios’ only two grass-court defeats this campaign came against two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and 2021 semi-finalist Hubert Hurkacz, both tight encounters, before the 27-year-old withdrew after one match in Mallorca to rest a sore abdominal muscle.

“Obviously from a load standpoint, I played a lot of tennis,” he said.

“I don’t think anyone kind of expected that. [I’m] probably the only player that’s going to have a two-month break in the middle of the year, then come back for the grass.

“I’ve played a lot of matches, had some great results, beaten some really good players. I’m just happy where my level’s at. I’ve had probably some of the best preparation I’ve had for a while on the grass.”

The one-time world No.13, now ranked 45th, Kyrgios makes no apologies for no longer playing a full schedule and skipping the French Open in favour of time at home in Canberra.

“That’s who I am. I don’t want to be the type of player that’s going to play all year long,” he said.

“Living in Australia – I’ve said it so many times – it’s so hard to find the balance between spending time with your family, friends [and] having that kind of normal lifestyle.

“I don’t want to be spending seven, eight months on the road anymore. I just don’t want to be doing that. It’s not something I really care about – rankings and all that.

“It’s not something I chase. I’ve played top-10 players in the world this year and made them look pretty ordinary.

“Look, I know where my game’s at. I know if I’m feeling confident, I’m playing well, I’m able to just light it up kind of whenever I want.”

Reuters, AAP

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