Nick Kyrgios says his body is in pain after playing for a fourth day in a row, but he is adamant he can still go the whole way at this year’s Wimbledon.
On the eve of his third-round match against Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, Kyrgios was sprightly enough to play – and win – a lively mixed doubles three-setter alongside Venus Williams for 90 minutes on Friday.
Asked how he was bearing up following his five-month break, Kyrgios said: “Man, I’m hurting. Physically, I’m actually getting out of bed and I’m struggling. I just got a full body massage. Obviously this sport demands a high amount of preparation and training.
“It’s a physical week. I’m doing the best I can. I’m trying to eat well, I’m trying to get some rest, I’m trying to recover as much as I can and stay hydrated. I’m doing all the right things. My body is holding together now.
“But yeah, I’m definitely in pain. I definitely wouldn’t be feeling like this the year I made quarters (2014), my body was so used to it. Again, I’m okay with that. I’ve got enough, I think, to continue.
“I think mentally I definitely feel better, knowing that my body can still go the distance, I can still play the level and back up as well. So I mentally feel good.”
Kyrgios will be second on No 1 Court, where he defeated French star Ugo Humbert in his epic five-set return that stretched over two days, and he insists he will be the underdog against the 20-year-old.
“It’s a very intriguing match-up. I always have been a massive fan of FAA. I think he’s got the platform and the game to really push this sport into something really exciting again,” he said.
“I love watching him play. He beat Roger (Federer) a couple weeks ago. So I think his game is awesome. He plays big. He backs himself. And, tactically, I’m going to do the same things. I’m going to serve big and play big. If it’s enough, it’s enough. If not, too good.
“I’ve got nothing but respect for him. He’s a hell of a player. He’ll be a grand slam champion one day, I’m sure, and he’s going to do some special things.
“I’m unseeded. I go into that match as an underdog. But there are people that are going to be expecting me to win. That’s just the weight I carry, and that’s just what it is. Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a nice challenge.”