TODD WOODBRIDGE has backed Nick Kyrgios to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon.
Nine-time Wimbledon doubles champion Todd Woodbridge has backed Nick Kyrgios to reach the semi-finals at the tournament, but has insisted that the draw will be significant and he has urged his fellow Australian to try and avoid Novak Djokovic.
Doubles icon Woodbridge believes that Kyrgios can make a deep run into Wimbledon this year, after reaching the semi-final at the Stuttgart Open where he made his grass-court singles debut this year before losing to Andy Murray. “Nick is actually trained and focused on this season, so this is a good start to the grass-court season.” Woodbridge told Nine’s Sports Sunday. “If there is any player in the field outside of Novak that can play well enough and beat everyone on grass, it’s Nick. So, it’s about, ‘How does he deal with the expectation as he goes into this one this time?’. He is a legitimate force and chance to go deep at Wimbledon.”
“It’ll depend on his draw. That’s significant. We don’t want him coming up in a section that Novak might be, which is a possibility.
“But I think a semi is realistic this year. And if he gets to the semi and his body’s OK and the head’s still on the shoulders, anything can happen.”
Kyrgios is in action at the Terra Wortmann Open Halle as he prepares for Wimbledon, and eased into the second round with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Daniel Altmaier to set up a clash with World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Australian has talked up his chances on a grass court. “On grass, you know, I would be top five, top 10 in the world, definitely,” he told Tennis TV. “If I’m feeling good on grass, I feel really, really comfortable on it.”
Kyrgios reached the semi-finals in Stuttgart, as he was defeated by Murray 7-6, 6-2 as the 27-year-old claimed he was the subject of racial slurs during the match.
The tournament issued a statement confirming they will investigate the allegations. “We have expressed our regret towards Nick Kyrgios and his team and assured that any kind of discrimination is unacceptable,” the statement read.
“The incident is currently under investigation. We stand for creating an inclusive environment for all. Discrimination of any kind is not tolerated. These fundamental values are as important as values like fairness, tolerance and team spirit to us. Thus no discriminating actions by the spectators are accepted.”
Kyrgios slammed his racket as he lost the first set to Murray, and after the game took to Instagram to explain his frustration. “When is this going to stop? Dealing with racist slurs from the crowd?” he wrote. “When I retaliate to the crowd I get penalised. This is messed up.”