“Of course the lack of respect from the media and just everything, [today’s match] was just kind of a reminder to put you all back in your place from today’s performance. [Krajinovic] made final at Queen’s, [he’s] top 30 in the world, seeded,” said Kyrgios.
“It’s a friendly reminder.”
After supporting his boast about lawn dominance and, for now anyway, all dreams of double success with good friend Thanasi Kokkinakis on the back burner, the stage is beautifully set up for Kyrgios to test Tsitsipas’ mettle.
Because when it comes to Kyrgios against players in the higher echelon, the stats usually confirm his ability to hold his own. In the case of the Canberran versus the number 5 in the world, Kyrgios leads 3-1 against each other. His most recent win over the Greek came on grass in Germany a few weeks ago.
By passing Tsitsipas, the path suddenly cleared up for Kyrgios in the bottom half of the men’s singles.
It’s also a rare occurrence when the fourth seed of the tournament goes into a match against an unseeded foe in the third round as the underdog, albeit only slightly.
Perhaps the biggest question is which Kyrgios will take to court against Tsitsipas after the 27-year-old said his scintillating performance against Krajinovic on Thursday stemmed from a desire to face the furore that came from antics including questioning a linesman’s ability based on her, to stop. age, and complain to the chair umpire that the same official was a “snitch”.
Kyrgios succeeded in that. His early game on Thursday was the talk of the town.
“I just feel like sometimes people don’t give me the respect because of other things I do,” Kyrgios said of his motivation.
“There was just nothing the media could tell me that I did wrong today. All I know is that you can’t possibly ask me anything and shake something up.
‘And I think it’s great, because then you can’t write anything. What are you going to say? Nothing today. You are all dumbfounded.”
Kyrgios then wanted to topple the story his first round against Briton Paul Jubb†
“Today I just felt really good from the start. From the back of the track I felt like I was coming back really well. I was just very simply locked up from the start today,” he said.
“I just wanted… to prove to people that I’m really good.”
Kyrgios was fined $14,500 by Wimbledon officials for his violations, but that was light compared to the penalties he received this year for his conduct at ATP events in the United States.
For the thoughtful Tsitsipas, who won nine titles last year and finished second at the French Open, he takes on the challenge of taking on Kyrgios – also on a favorite surface for the Australian.
“Nick has more matches against me in these courts. He claims to like grass. I think his game is good for the grass,” Tsitsipas said.
“I am absolutely thrilled to meet him. I have a lot of respect for him on the pitch, what he’s trying to do. Although he has been a bit controversial in the past, I think he plays good tennis.
“I’m going to try to focus on my thing and pay attention to my own game from start to finish. Hopefully I can stay there and do something great, have a great competitive game against him.”
Tsitsipas will have an Australian in his corner, 2003 finalist Mark Philippoussis, who will act as a sort of advisor at Wimbledon for Tsitsipas and his coach, the player’s father, Apostolos Tsitsipas.
“Mark is someone I’ve known for a long time,” Tsitsipas said after knocking out Australian Jordan Thompson 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 in the second round.
“We’ve worked together a bit in the past. He is a good friend of ours. We also speak the same language. I think there is a good relationship with him, which is very important. Not only on the tennis court, but I think he has good values as a person.
“Of course we have a lot of respect for him. We also like to be around him as a family, the Tsitsipas family. He has been a very good friend.”
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