Tue, Jun 21, 4:08pm by Luke D'Anello
Nick Kyrgios is not reaching for the panic button despite a less-than-ideal build up to Wimbledon.
The 21-year-old, who boasts a career-high ranking of No.18, was beaten in the opening round of Queen’s Club in three sets by the powerful Milos Raonic.
The defeat has forced the volatile Kyrgios to turn his attention to exhibition matches before the start of Wimbledon on Monday.
Kyrgios also failed to fire at Queens’ last year before making the round of 16 at the All England Club.
The previous year, he gained attention on the world stage when he toppled the great Rafael Nadal on his way to the quarter-finals of Wimbledon.
Punters also believe in Kyrgios’ aptitude on grass, with the Australian the fifth favourite to hoist the Wimbledon trophy, according to Sportsbet punters.
Kyrgios is priced at $22 – behind hot favourite Novak Djokovic ($1.72), Andy Murray ($4), Roger Federer ($13) and Milos Raonic ($15).
The fact that Stan Wawrinka is $26 underlines how highly Kyrgios is rated by the majority.
While Djokovic and Murray have contested both Grand Slam finals in 2016 – and are likely to extend that run – Kyrgios has proven in the past that his best is enough to unsettle the world’s blue-chip players.
You can get $23 on Kyrgios to go all the way with William Hill and Centrebet and, if you’re fond of a slight roughie, it could turn out to be a wise investment.
While he has been in the headlines again in recent weeks after making himself unavailable for the Rio Olympics, seldom has he been distracted by off-court issues.
Given he has made a quarter-final and the fourth round in his two appearances at Wimbledon – and is a better player now as evidenced by a career-high ranking – Kyrgios should have his opponents looking nervously over their shoulders.
While he only turned pro in 2013, he has delivered his best results on grass in Grand slam tournaments.
Kyrgios has failed to make it past the third round at the US Open and French Open and reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in 2015.
Australia’s other great hope, Bernard Tomic, has enjoyed super preparation for Wimbledon.
The world No.19 progressed to the semi-finals at Queen’s Club before being eliminated by Raonic.
The Queenslander’s unorthodox style has the potential to unsettle opponents, with Tomic knocking over Kevin Anderson, Fernando Verdasco and Gilles Miller at Queen’s.
The 23-year-old has made six trips to Wimbledon, reaching the quarter-finals in 2011 and the fourth round in 2013.
Last year he was out in the third round and in 2014 he made it to the second round.
He has also suffered two first-round exits at the All England Club – in 2010 and 2012.
But Tomic’s form should fill him with confidence – and the guidance he has received from Lleyton Hewitt in recent weeks could prove important.
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