Nick Kyrgios has pulled of his doubles quest at Wimbledon to concentrate on what looks like his best bet yet to win the singles crown.
With no histrionics, no wars and no noise, Kyrgios was the spitting image of a quiet, no-nonsense businessman as he blasted into the third round at Wimbledon on Thursday.
And after his emphatic 6-2 6-3 6-1 triumph over No.26 seed Filip Krajinovic, Kyrgios announced he was withdrawing from the men’s doubles with fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis to concentrate on his individual push.
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“I’m a singles player. My priority has always been singles. I’ve made quarter-finals here before, I’ve won singles titles,” said Kyrgios, who had been due to play his opening round ‘Special Ks’ doubles match against Aljaz Bedene and Soonwoo Kwon later on Thursday.
“I played nearly four hours in my first round. Me personally, it was just too much time on court.
“Today I made up for that. But I want to put my singles as my priority. I’m doing what’s best for my body.”
Two days after being embroiled in unsavoury controversy as he struggled to tame Briton Paul Jubb in front of the vociferous Court 3 fans, Kyrgios was the very model of focus as he knocked out Serbian Krajinovic with brutal efficiency.
“I just wanted to remind everyone I’m pretty good,” said Kyrgios pointedly, still in unsmiling, matter-of-fact mood in his interview on Court 2 afterwards.
“I didn’t play great the other day – today, I was in the zone.”
Out there, he’d demonstrated why he believes he’s one of the best grass-court players in the world as he quite demolished a capable opponent who’s good enough to have reached the recent prestigious Queen’s Club final.
Quite devastating behind his first serve, the Australian swept to his win in under an hour-and-a-half, having cracked down 24 aces and losing only nine points on his own delivery
Those attracted to the idea of seeing Kyrgios, who admitted to spitting towards a spectator in Tuesday’s contest, in further self-destruct mode were to be left sorely disappointed as the controversy magnet was on his best behaviour.
There was an early dispute over a line call and a grumble or two towards a coughing spectator before he was serving, but they didn’t even register as the most minor tremors on the normal Kyrgios scale of meltdowns.
In the first set, Kyrgios didn’t drop a single point on serve and only conceded the first on his own delivery after 21 straight points, when already 2-0 up in the second stanza.
Krajinovic just looked increasingly dispirited as winner after winner flashed past him, and Kyrgios finished with a flourish, advancing on the Serb’s serve to pulverise a backhand return for his 50th winner that sealed the deal.
It set up a mouth-watering third-round clash for Kyrgios on Saturday with No.4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who defeated the Australian’s hitting partner and pal, Jordan Thompson 6-2 6-3 7-5.
“I’m just happy at the moment, I’ve been preparing for this tournament, circled it in my calendar all year, and I think it’s my best chance of winning a grand slam,” said Kyrgios.
“I’ve got an incredibly tough draw but I’ll keep taking it match by match.”