Australian Nick Kyrgios believes in his chances ahead of a Wimbledon final showdown with three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic.
Nick Kyrgios is set to contest his first Grand Slam singles final today, facing top seed Novak Djokovic in a highly anticipated Wimbledon showdown.
“I never thought I’d be here at all, to be brutally honest,” Kyrgios revealed.
“It’s exciting to say that I have a chance to play for a Grand Slam singles title after everything. It’s pretty cool.”
The 27-year-old Australian describes the opportunity to play for the Wimbledon title as “the pinnacle of tennis”.
“I’m just super proud and I’m just ready to go,” Kyrgios said. “I’m going to give it my all and we’ll see what happens.”
|Nick Kyrgios v Novak Djokovic
By the numbers
|Grand Slam main draw appearances||30||68|
|Grand Slam win-loss record||50-29||333-47|
|Wimbledon main draw appearances||8||17|
|Wimbledon win-loss record||20-7||85-10|
|2022 win-loss record||21-6||22-5|
|2022 grass win-loss record||12-2||6-0|
|Career singles titles||6||87|
|Career Grand Slam singles titles||0||20|
As Djokovic prepares to contest a record 32nd Grand Slam final, he is not surprised to be facing first-time finalist Kyrgios.
“We always know how dangerous he is, on grass particularly, because of his game, because of his attitude on the court being so confident, just going for it, being a very complete player,” Djokovic said of his Australian opponent.
“It seems like mentally he’s at a better state than what he was, where he was, some years ago. Of course as time passes by, you’re maturing, you’re understanding yourself what you need to do in order to get yourself to the best possible, optimal state of mind, body, and soul in order to perform your best.
“These are the occasions where he loves, where he thrives, in a big stage. So in a way it’s also not a surprise for me that he’s there. Honestly, as a tennis fan, I’m glad that he’s in the finals because he’s got so much talent.
“For the quality player that he is, this is where he needs to be, and he deserves to be.”
Djokovic is yet to beat Kyrgios, losing their only two previous encounters in 2017.
“I haven’t practiced with him or played with him since the last time I lost to him,” Djokovic revealed.
“I guess it’s going to be a game of small margins. I hope I can be at the desired level, then really it’s a mental game in the end, who stays tougher and calmer in the decisive moments.”
|Nick Kyrgios v Novak Djokovic
|2017||Acapulco, Mexico||Hard||Kyrgios won 7-6(9) 7-5|
|2017||Indian Wells, USA||Hard||Kyrgios won 6-4 7-6(3)|
Not taking opportunities for granted is among the most important lessons that Kyrgios has learned in his nine-year professional career.
“I beat (British wildcard) Paul Jubb 7-5 in the fifth set in my first round, and now I’m in the Wimbledon final,” Kyrgios noted.
“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.
“I just feel like I kind of just take it as it comes now, more so than what I used to.”
While Kyrgios believes he “has a chance” against the six-time Wimbledon champion, he is happy to embrace an underdog status.
“Djokovic has the advantage from the get-go,” Kyrgios said. “He can draw from experience, he’s done it so many more times, he knows the emotions he’s going to be feeling. I don’t know that.”
Describing himself as “a reckless ball of energy right now”, Kyrgios is looking forward to stepping out on court for the biggest match of his life.
“I want it to come already,” he said.
The gentlemen’s singles final begins at 11pm AEST and is broadcast live in Australia on the Nine Network and Stan Sport.
Aussies in action:
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v  Novak Djokovic (SRB)
Gentlemen’s singles, final, Centre Court, first match (from 11pm AEST)
Djokovic enters his eighth Wimbledon final on some impressive streaks. The world No.3 has not lost on grass since 2018 and has scored 27 consecutive wins at the All England Club, with his last loss coming via retirement against Tomas Berdych in the 2017 quarterfinals. Djokovic has also won his past 49 matches against unseeded opponents at a Grand Slam. He has only lost to an unseeded player once before at Wimbledon, to former world No.1 Marat Safin in the 2008 second round. Kyrgios, however, isn’t daunted by such records. He was won four of his six matches against top 10-ranked opponents so far this season and is looking to score his fourth career top-10 win at Wimbledon.
Head-to-head record: Kyrgios leads 2-0
Cara Black (ZIM)/Todd Woodbridge (AUS) v Iva Majoli (CRO)/Mark Woodforde (AUS)
Invitation mixed doubles, final, Court 18, first match (from 8pm AEST)
Australian favourites Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, affectionately known as the Woodies, won six Wimbledon gentlemen’s doubles titles together in one of the sport’s most successful partnerships of all time. Today they face-off on opposite sides of the court in the invitation mixed doubles final.
 Jake Dembo (AUS) v Mark Ceban (GBR)
Boys’ 14 and under singles, consolation round, Court 4, first match (from 8pm AEST)
Dembo, Australia’s representative in the inaugural 14 and under boys’ singles competition at Wimbledon, finished second in his round-robin group and is now competing in consolation rounds. The 14-year-old from Perth has recorded two wins, one loss and received a walkover so far this tournament.
Giselle Isabella Guillen (AUS) v Mika Stojsavljevic (GBR)
Girls’ 14 and under singles, consolation round, Court 4, second match
Guillen, a 14-year-old from New South Wales, is Australia’s representative in the first 14 and under girls’ singles competition. After recording a second place finish in the round-robin stage, Guillen is now through to the final round of the consolation competition and looking to record her fourth win from her fifth match.
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