WIMBLEDON. London. By Emiliano Naftali
The third Grand Slam of the year, Wimbledon, is just around the corner, and luck has not been on the side of an Argentine player in this 2023 edition: Pedro Cachín. He will make his debut in the first round against none other than Serbian Novak Djokovic, the defending champion, undefeated in the tournament since 2017 and with a perfect record in Grand Slams this year.
The Serbian, winner of the 2023 Australian Open and Roland Garros 2023, aims to maintain his dominant form on the circuit as the world number 2, behind Carlos Alcaraz.
The Balkan player will attempt to extend his collection of Grand Slam titles to 24, surpassing the injured Spanish player Rafael Nadal (22) and the retired Roger Federer (20). At 36 years old, he will seek his eighth Wimbledon title in this edition, tying Federer at the top of the list of Wimbledon champions.
Yesterday, Nick Kyrgios held a press conference and made the following statements:
«It’s the best tournament in the world. I have worked extremely hard to have the opportunity to prepare and try to play it. I still have some doubts, of course. The fact that it is played in best-of-five sets makes it completely different. Last year, I had the most ideal preparation possible. It’s not the same this year.
«I won’t discredit the work I’ve put in over the past six months to maintain my physical fitness and return to the court. I have trained with very good players this week, and my body feels good. I won’t set unfair expectations. I will do everything I can to play good tennis.»
How challenging has it been to experience everything from a distance?
«I focus on the positives. I was able to spend more time at home, something I hadn’t achieved before. In the last eight years of my life, I’ve hardly been at home. It has also been heartbreaking. Last year, I felt like everything was clicking, competing in Grand Slams, reaching the final at Wimbledon. I hardly lost a match. I had the third-best season on the circuit. Obviously, my body was screaming for a break. It has been tough.»
«I have a lot of confidence. I’ve never been the type of player who needs many matches to perform well in a Grand Slam. What I have achieved in my career is still there. It hasn’t been that long since last year. I’m still serving as well as ever. I’m still capable of beating many players on the court. I have to take it day by day. I have David Goffin in the first round, and that’s what I’m going to focus on.»
Kyrgios on his past experience:
«I don’t forget what happened last year. The thing about tennis is that the circuit is very demanding, with tournaments week after week. You don’t have time to reflect on what you’ve done. Now I’ve had time to see everything I’ve done. I wanted to achieve more. Withdrawing from the Australian Open was one of the toughest things I had to do. I felt like I could win the tournament. Obviously, since then, I had to undergo surgery.
It has been tough because everyone expects me to be the same player immediately. That’s very hard. I lost in Stuttgart, and the criticism was huge. It was my first match back. It’s difficult to be the same player I was right away. Nonetheless, I hope to play the same level of tennis as last year, but I don’t think it’s fair to expect that right now.»