He’s already taken down Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and now Nick Kyrgios is hunting another prized scalp at the French Open.
At 20, Kyrgios admits he’s still scared of the dark and is frightened of sharks, but a third-round showdown with Murray at Roland Garros on Saturday holds no fears for Australian tennis’s grand slam excitement machine.
“Definitely I think I can win. I’ve got the game,” Kyrgios said as he eyes revenge for his Australian Open quarter-final loss to the Scot.
“I’m feeling a lot fitter than I was as well. So if I play the right game style, I definitely think I can (win).”
Kyrgios was struggling so badly with a back injury at Melbourne Park, he needed six weeks off to nurse a stress fracture.
“I’m feeling a lot more fitter and stronger this time around,” he said.
“But, in saying that, he is one of the best players on tour at the moment. I just have to prepare, to do everything I can.”
Murray, seeded third at Roland Garros, is unbeaten in a dozen matches on dirt in 2015.
“Andy has had some great results on clay,” Kyrgios said.
“Obviously winning Madrid was massive. He played unbelievably.
“I’ve had some good results as well, so I think we are both going to be comfortable on clay.
Drawing Kyrgios in the third round of a slam is about as tough as it gets and Murray is under no illusions as to the challenge he faces to get through to a last-16 meeting with either French wildcard Jeremy Chardy or Belgian 17th seed David Goffin.
“He’s obviously a very talented guy. He likes the big stage. He’s had some good results at the slams,” the two-time major winner said after his 6-2 4-6 6-4 6-1 second-round win over Joao Sousa.
“Also away from the slams, he obviously beat Roger a few weeks ago on the clay (in Madrid). So, yeah, I mean, he can cause a lot of players trouble.”
While Murray needed four sets and two-and-a-half hours to get past Sousa on Thursday, Kyrgios enjoyed a free pass to the last 32 after Brit Kyle Edmund withdrew from their scheduled second-round match with an abdominal strain.
“It’s probably good. It gives my body extra time to get treatment on my (sore) elbow and train hard,” Kyrgios said.
“Obviously more days at a tournament like this has got to be good. I’m excited about the next round.”
Kyrgios was far from idle on his unexpected day off.
“I set up two training sessions as if I was playing a match,” he said.
“I played a practice set in the second session. I went relatively really hard in the second session with my legs.
“It is what it is.”
Despite feeling fresh, Kyrgios doesn’t believe he gained any advantage over the world No.3 by gaining a walkover.
“He’s played millions of matches in his career,” said Australia’s 29th seed.
“He’s going to do fine physically regardless of whether he plays an eight-hour (second-round) match or a two-hour match.
“I think he’s one of the greatest athletes on tour.”