Nick Kyrgios cops major blow ahead of Wimbledon: 'Bad news'
Australia's Nick Kyrgios is looming as the most dangerous unseeded threat in the Wimbledon men's draw.
Kyrgios fell just short of reaching his maiden grass-court final at the Halle Open, after going down to eventual champion Hubert Hurkacz in the last four in Germany.
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The Aussie went toe-to-toe in three gripping sets with the big-serving Polish star, who wiped the floor with World No.1 Daniil Medvedev - winning 6-1 6-4 in Sunday night's final.
“He’s a hell of a player,” the Australian said about the Halle Open champion, Hurkacz.
“His serve is incredible. I honestly didn’t feel like I was getting any sort of read on it.
“I was playing well in the last two sets, but I played a shocking tiebreak in the second set. It is what it is, I’m happy with my form this week.”
Kyrgios will play another grass-court tune-up in Mallorca this week, before Wimbledon gets underway the following week.
However, the 27-year-old's defeat to Hurkacz in Germany means he will head to the All England Club as an unseeded player, meaning he could draw one of the big guns in men's tennis in one of the opening rounds.
It's a brutal blow for the Aussie star but considering his love of grass and recent form on the surface, Kyrgios also looms as a dangerous early prospect for any of the top-ranked male players at Wimbledon.
Veteran tennis reporter Jose Morgado described Kyrgios' unseeded status at SW19 as "bad news" for everyone.
Nick Kyrgios will be unseeded at Wimbledon. Bad news for him and for pretty much everybody.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) June 18, 2022
Kyrgios admits that the ATP's decision to strip Wimbledon of rankings points - in response to the ban on Russian and Belarusian players - eases some of the pressure at SW19.
While the Aussie says he plans on using the lead-up event in Mallorca as an opportunity for some down time, the World No.65 is conscious about keeping his momentum on grass bubbling along.
“I might use it as a down week, so I’m not gonna worry too much about the result - but now that I say that, when I get there I will obviously want to continue my form,” he added.
“I want to try and pick up as many points as I can (before Wimbledon).
“I still want to do well at Wimbledon, but with no ranking points you don’t feel the pressure as much.”
Nick Kyrgios edged by Hubert Hurkacz in Halle semi-final
The Australian was brilliant behind his own serve in the Halle Open semi-final, remaining unbroken and giving up just two break points the whole match.
Ultimately though, Kyrgios was beaten at his own game as Hurkacz pounded down a career-best 27 aces in the 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) win.
Kyrgios was even more prolific with 30 aces but couldn't capitalise on his first-set domination when he was the more aggressive and ambitious of the pair.
Neither player was troubled on their own delivery until the ninth game of the opener when two brilliant forehand winners helped Kyrgios land what was to be the only break of the match to go 5-4 ahead.
He sealed the deal with two aces in the following game but from then on, never really threatened Hurkacz on serve as the Polish world No.12 began to grow in confidence.
With some inevitability, it all came down to one final tiebreak shoot-out, with Hurkacz earning the crucial mini-break with Kyrgios failing to deal with a floated deep service return.
Regardless of the loss, Kyrgios - who considers himself a top-five player on grass courts - can look back on his time in Germany with real satisfaction.
One thing is for sure - nobody, as Hurkacz intimated, will want to meet this dangerous floater in the main draw of a slam in which he's previously reached one quarter-final and the last 16 on two other occasions.
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