Nick Kyrgios suddenly found himself in the final at Wimbledon without having to play a semi-final match against 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard withdrew from the competition after suffering an abdominal tear during his quarter-final victory over Taylor Fritz.
As a result, the Australian has been given a walkover and a direct spot at the final where he will be facing defending champion Novak Djokovic. While being no stranger to big games, Kyrgios admitted that he lost sleep after finding out that he will be playing in the final at SW19 on Sunday.
This will be his first Grand Slam final, and even experienced players will feel the nerves at such a big opportunity. “I had a shocking sleep, just with the excitement,” he admitted, as quoted by BBC Sport. “I had so much anxiety, I was already feeling so nervous, and I don’t feel nervous usually.”
Indeed, Kyrgios is one of the most confident players on court, often being accused of almost being arrogant. However, despite his big personality, a final at Wimbledon against the 20-time Grand Slam champion is enough to make anybody nervous.
Kyrgios found out about Nadal’s withdrawal while he was out having dinner, and he immediately felt the nerves. “I just want to go out on the practice court now and hit some tennis balls and just talk.” he said, adding that he just wanted the final to “come already.” However, he’s aware that if he wants to stand a chance against Djokovic, he needs to calm down.
Meanwhile, the Serb has an opportunity to defend his title, and cut the gap to Nadal in the race for most Grand Slam titles. Nadal’s withdrawal means that the Spaniard won’t get a chance to extend his lead over both Djokovic and Roger Federer, who are tied at 20 major titles each. The Swiss star is at Wimbledon, but only as a VIP guest. He admitted that he is still hoping to return one last time, but this year, all eyes will be on Kyrgios and Djokovic.