Nick Kyrgios has sent the tennis world into a frenzy after revealing he will team up with Venus Williams to play mixed doubles at Wimbledon.
The mercurial Aussie star put a call out on Twitter earlier this week asking for suggestions about who he should play mixed with at the All England Club.
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And it seems as though Venus was the overwhelming favourite.
"The mixed doubles pairing of the tournament," Kyrgios declared at a pre-tournament press conference on Saturday.
I was right!
Nick Kyrgios will play mixed doubles at #Wimbledon with Venus Williams
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) June 26, 2021
In 2017, Venus responded to a question about who her dream mixed doubles partner would be by saying: “I don’t know, I think it’d be fun to play with Nick Kyrgios.”
And now the 41-year-old has got her wish.
Kyrgios couldn't ask for a more experienced partner, with Venus winning 24 doubles titles in her career - two of which were mixed.
The American champion won the mixed doubles titles at the Australian Open and French Open in 1998, and was runner-up at Wimbledon in 2006.
The former World No.1 has also won five Wimbledon singles tiles, as well as six doubles titles with sister Serena.
Kyrgios has previously played mixed doubles with Amanda Anisimova at the Australian Open in 2020 and Desirae Krawczyk at Wimbledon in 2019.
The prospect of seeing Kyrgios and Venus in action together in mixed doubles sent tennis fans into a frenzy on social media.
I’m here for all the Nick Kyrgios and Venus Williams mixed doubles matches 🎾🌱 #Wimbledon
— Steve Weissman (@Steve_Weissman) June 26, 2021
For real? Omg
— Kate Zarifeh (@KateZMedia) June 26, 2021
I love this, I hope they go far!!
— Jacinta S. (@Jacinta__S) June 26, 2021
— El Chopernos (@El_Chopernos) June 26, 2021
— Hayden Hunter (@HaydenHunter_12) June 26, 2021
Now that's some mixed doubles
— Fidato (@tequieremos) June 26, 2021
Great news. Both are awesome players. ❤️
— KIMVaL (@KimzSpotz) June 26, 2021
Nick Kyrgios and Venus Williams will be mixed doubles partners at #Wimbledon. That should be fun.
— Biola Solace-Chukwu (@Beeorlicious) June 26, 2021
Nick Kyrgios a changed man at Wimbledon?
Kyrgios said on Saturday he "wants to be a better tennis player and a better person" at Wimbledon where he made his breakthrough as a brash teenager in 2014.
The 26-year-old Australian famously defeated Rafael Nadal on his debut at the All England Club seven years ago on his way to the quarter-finals.
Since that time, there have been seemingly endless spats with officials and other players as well as suspensions and fines.
However, having not played outside of Australia since February last year, Kyrgios says he is changed man.
It's a transformation partly sparked by a lengthy absence from the tour as his country battened down the hatches in the face of the pandemic.
"I want to be better as a tennis player and a person," said Kyrgios.
"I have reached a nice level of freedom, nothing fazes me at all anymore and I feel I have more to give the game.
"I feel a lot of people want me to play."
A former top 15 player, Kyrgios is now down at 61 in the world.
He has not played since the Australian Open in February where he let slip a two sets lead to lose to US Open champion Dominic Thiem in the third round.
On the way, he defeated France's Ugo Humbert - who he will now face in his Wimbledon opener.
"I definitely feel I could beat 50 percent of the draw on grass without much preparation," he claimed.
"I know for a fact that nobody here wanted to play me first round. I feel confident going into this match."
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