“To be honest, I almost don’t know who I am,” Nick Kyrgios said. In the months since his run to the home Grand Slam final at Wimbledon, his professionalism and focus have paid off.
Kyrgios said he was lucky to win his second-round challenge against France’s Benjamin Bonzi in a dramatic 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
“I was really lucky to get through four sets … it was one of those matches where you survive,” he said.
In his post-match press conference, Kyrgios revealed that he was currently putting himself through the ‘most pressure’ of his career, knowing he could compete for a Grand Slam.
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“This year has been amazing in so many ways,” he said.
“I wanted to reinvent myself for tennis and get back to the top of the game where I knew I belonged.
“I think the Wimbledon final was a turning point for me. I don’t know where my motivation will be if I win that match.
“When I lost him, and being so close, that was really hard for me to swallow. Beating Washington, winning multiple matches. I feel like I thought after winning Wimbledon (almost) the pressure would be off. Wow, like: ‘He’s a Wimbledon finalist. He’s over the hump,’ kind of thing.
“But for me personally, I didn’t think I would put so much pressure on myself. Every day I log in, I watch what I eat, I try and sleep, I try to have a good idea for each practice session.
“Honestly, I don’t know who I am anymore. Because that’s not me.
“I’m trying to balance a lot of different things, it’s hard,” the Australian continued. The media, my fans go crazy everywhere I go, I’m trying to balance my personal life and tennis. It’s a lot.
“I never thought I would be… now I feel like a real professional. I never thought a Wimbledon final would do that to me. I thought it would be the other way around, on the contrary – like a little looser, a little colder.
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Kyrgios admits he can be perfectionist on court, saying he probably needs to ‘be a little nicer’ to himself.
“It’s very stressful now because every match I play I expect to play really well (and) such a clean performance in a sport like this you’re playing day in and day out,” he said.
“Maybe I should lower my expectations every time, like in the Wimbledon final… I think I should be a little nicer to myself and lower the expectations a little bit.”
“I feel like I don’t want to sway people at this point in my career. I feel like I represent a lot of people. I know how much work he does with my team. There are many people who support me.
“I remember holding a press conference here three-four years ago. I lost in the third round and now I feel terrible. I didn’t win more than expected.
“So I’m sitting here, and I feel like this is probably more pressure than I’ve ever put on myself. Now I know I can go to the Slam final. I really want to achieve and bring my team with me. I want to do it together.
“I’m definitely a perfectionist on the court. I feel like I can play four or five great points and then play one (bad) point and go for a score. Like: ‘It’s good!’ I don’t know, it’s hard.”
Kyrgios next faces American JJ Wolff, who had plenty of praise for the 23-year-old in his post-match press conference.
“I’m expecting an incredibly tough match, I know it won’t be easy at all,” Kyrgyz said.
“My pleasure, young gun. I love playing these guys,” he added.
“I didn’t think so” – he burst into laughter – “I will tour for ten years and call young people!”