Nick Kyrgios believes he can claim another famous scalp when the rising Australian star faces French Open champion Stan Wawrinka in the Queen’s Club first round.
Kyrgios, one of the most-promising talents over the past year, has another opportunity to underline his vast potential by defeating Swiss second seed Wawrinka at the Wimbledon warm-up event, starting on Monday in west London.
Wawrinka is fresh from his French Open final victory over world No.1 Novak Djokovic but Kyrgios sees no reason why he can’t add the Swiss to his growing list of top scalps.
The world No.25’s big serve and powerful groundstrokes were on show last year in a stunning Wimbledon victory over Rafael Nadal.
He then reached the Australian Open quarter-finals this year and also defeated Roger Federer in the Madrid Masters.
“It’s unbelievable, I think, to have an opportunity to play Wawrinka after he won the French Open. It’s really exciting.
“He hits the ball massive, he doesn’t really play with any fear so I can see some similarities to me, but I think our games are a little bit different.
“I’m feeling really confident but we’ll see how it goes. I’m just going to go out there, play my game, have fun and, if I lose, I lose. If I win, I win.”
Four-time Queen’s champion Lleyton Hewitt embarks on his final grasscourt campaign before retiring after next year’s Australian Open and Kyrgios salutes him for helping the next generation of Australian stars.
“He’s left an unbelievable legacy, he’s one of the greatest competitors of all time.
“He’s gone through injuries where normal people would have shut it down, and he’s come back.
“He’s a great leader for us as well in Davis Cup. When he trains, he’s always 110 per cent, always pushing us and making sure we’re doing all the right things.”
Andy Murray believes he is in the form of his life as he prepares to kick off his Wimbledon campaign.
Murray arrives at Queen’s Club after winning his first claycourt titles in Madrid and Munich before reaching the French Open semi-finals.
After a frustrating 2014, marred by back surgery and an unwanted parting with coach Ivan Lendl, the Scot has been in rich form, pushing Djokovic to five sets before finally succumbing in Paris.
He says he is back to the peak performances which won him the 2012 US Open and Wimbledon a year later.
As a bonus, Murray learnt this week his heavily pregnant coach Amelie Mauresmo would be able to work with him at Wimbledon.
Queen’s has become an ATP 500 event this year, worth double the rankings points and attracting a strong 32-man field.
World No.10 Nadal, at his lowest ranking since 2005 after a miserable run this year, faces Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in the first round.
US Open winner Marin Cilic and defending Queen’s champion Grigor Dimitrov are among the other top-15 ranked players in the draw.