Relishing another big-stage shot at Andy Murray, Nick Kyrgios believes he has the physical and mental stamina to take down the home hope in their fourth-round Wimbledon blockbuster.
The clear title favourite following Novak Djokovic’s shock exit, Murray has enjoyed a saloon passage into the second week at the All England Club.
The relentless Scot has dropped just 25 games in nine sets and been largely unaffected by the big wet that has marred the 130th championships.
Kyrgios, in contrast, has survived a treacherous draw, including a five-set comeback win over Dustin Brown, several delays and controversies, and was forced to return on Sunday to complete a 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 6-4 stop-start third-round win over three-time quarter-finalist Feliciano Lopez.
Monday will be the fourth day in a row Kyrgios has been forced to play.
“It’s obviously been tough,” said the 15th seed.
“I feel coming here every day, being on schedule every day nearly, with the rain, it hasn’t been easy for any player going into the locker room, preparing for matches, going back out.
“But physically, I feel good. Mentally, I feel good. I’ve been to the fourth round at grand slams before. I know what to expect. Yeah, it’s Wimbledon.”
Having played – and lost – to Murray, one of his best friends on tour, at all three other majors, Kyrgios also knows exactly what to expect from the world No.2, 2013 Wimbledon champion and 10-times grand slam finalist.
“The last time I played him was at the US Open (last year) in a major. Thought I made some inroads there. Finally won a set against him in a grand slam,” Kyrgios said.
“I feel like I know what to do. But it’s hard to actually go out there and execute against such a player like him obviously.
“Yeah, I mean, I’ve got a game plan. I lost to him at the US Open four sets, I played him in Hopman Cup, beat him there.
“I definitely feel like he’s beatable. He’s only human.”
Kyrgios’s losses to Murray at the majors have come on clay and hard courts.
London’s hallowed centre court at Wimbledon brings a different dynamic to the match-up.
“This is probably my best surface, my best chance to beat him,” Kyrgios said.
“At the same time I think he’s pretty comfortable on the grass. He’s won here before.
“I’m pretty much playing the ultimate player on grass at the moment.
“He’s one of the best tennis players you can play right now. “But I definitely have the tools to do it.”
HOW THE AUSSIES FARED AT WIMBLEDON (PREFIX DENOTES SEEDING)
Men’s singles, third round
15-Nick Kyrgios bt 22-Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-3 7-6 (2-7) 6-3 6-4