Nick Kyrgios is promising fans “a circus” when he takes on German showman Dustin Brown for a place in the last 32 at Wimbledon on Thursday.
Declaring himself “locked in” for a deep run at the title after surviving an early test against Radek Stepanek, Kyrgios is ready for another tough workout with Brown, a genuine grasscourt specialist.
The dreadlocked dangerman ousted Rafael Nadal last year and fellow former champion Lleyton Hewitt in 2013 and has Kyrgios very much on guard.
“He’s a great player. As well, he’s exciting. I’m ready to have fun out there with him.
“It’s a circus. But it’s good. It’s good. His style of tennis, it’s just big.
“He’s got a big serve. He likes to come in. He’s creative. That’s important to have in tennis.”
Kyrgios expected resistance from Stepanek, despite the Czech’s advancing age and lowly ranking, and he got it.
Stepanek denied Kyrgios a routine straight-sets win after stealing the third set, but Australia’s 15th seed said the first-round challenge was perfect preparation for the journey ahead.
“To be honest, that’s a nightmare first round for anyone at Wimbledon,” Kyrgios said.
“No one wants to play Radek here, for sure. I could pick 90 guys in the draw that I would rather have played first round.
“(But) I felt it was really good grass court tennis. It’s good. If I happen to go deep in the tournament, I feel like I’m locked in already and feel like I have a really tough match under the belt.
“I feel this Wimbledon like I’m used to my surroundings a lot more, probably expecting a lot more out of myself.
“To me, I do believe I can do good things in this tournament, go far, potentially win it.”
Fellow Australians John Millman and Daria Gavrilova joined Kyrgios and first-day winner Samantha Stosur in the second round, but rain left former quarter-finalist Bernard Tomic hanging.
Tomic was all locked up at two sets apiece with Spaniard Fernando Verdasco when the heavens opened and forced the abandonment of play on Tuesday at the All England Club.
After dropping the opening set and looking in strife, the 19th seed appeared to have wrestled control before dropping the fourth set.
Tomic will resume on Wednesday serving at 4-6 6-3 6-3 3-6.
Millman rallied to a 7-5 4-6 5-7 6-4 6-3 win over Spaniard Albert Montanes, while Gavrilova produced a spirited comeback to advance 2-6 6-3 6-4 over Wang Qiang.
But Jordan Thompson and Luke Saville crashed out, and qualifier Matt Barton trailed Frenchman Albano Olivetti 6-7 (7-9) 6-6 with the scores tied at 5-5 in the second-set tiebreak when rain stopped play.
As well as Tomic and Barton returning on day three, Stosur will face 2013 finalist Sabine Lisicki for a spot in the third round for only the third time in 14 tries.
HOW THE AUSSIES FARED AT WIMBLEDON (PREFIX DENOTES SEEDING)
Men’s singles, first round
15-Nick Kyrgios bt Radek Stepanek (CZE) 6-4 6-3 6-7 (9-11) 6-1
John Millman bt Albert Montanes (ESP) 7-5 4-6 5-7 6-4 6-3
19-Bernard Tomic v Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 4-6 6-3 6-3 3-6*
Matt Barton v Albano Olivetti (FRA) 6-7 (7-9) 6-6 (5-5)*
Luke Saville lost to Dennis Novikov (USA) 4-6 6-4 7-5 6-4
Jordan Thompson lost to 14-Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) 6-3 6-3 6-3
Women’s singles, first round
Daria Gavrilova bt Qiang Wang (CHN) 2-6 6-3 6-4
*Before rain stopped play