Wimbledon: Sleepless in SW19 as Nick Kyrgios handed final chance

Nick Kyrgios admitted he could not sleep after hearing the news that he is a Wimbledon finalist.

Rafael Nadal, Kyrgios’s semi-final opponent, stunned the Championships on Thursday evening when he revealed he would have to withdraw from the match due to his abdominal injury.

The Spaniard’s decision comes as a huge blow to the tournament, robbing it of one of the most highly-anticipated matches of the year.

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Instead controversial Australian Kyrgios, the world No 40, was handed a walkover and will take on Novak Djokovic, who beat Cameron Norrie in Friday’s semi-final, on Sunday for the Wimbledon title.

Nick Kyrgios faces Novak Djokovic in Sunday's Wimbledon final. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)Nick Kyrgios faces Novak Djokovic in Sunday's Wimbledon final. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Nick Kyrgios faces Novak Djokovic in Sunday's Wimbledon final. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

“I found out last night at dinner,” said Kyrgios. “Honestly my first feeling was a bit of disappointment.

“My energy was so focused on playing him and tactically how I’m going to go out there and play, the emotions of walking out there, all that type of stuff. It wouldn’t have been easy for him to do that. I’m sure at the end of the day everyone did want to see us go to war out there. I hope he just gets better.

“I had a shocking sleep last night. I probably got an hour’s sleep just with everything, like the excitement.

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“I had so much anxiety, I was already feeling so nervous, and I don’t feel nervous usually.

“I was just restless, so many thoughts in my head about a Wimbledon final. That’s all I was thinking about, imagining myself winning, imagining myself losing, everything.

“I feel like I’m just a reckless ball of energy right now. I just want to go out on the practice court now and hit some tennis balls. I want it to come already. Yeah, I want the final to come already.

“I know that I have to kind of just calm down. There’s still a couple days until that moment. Hopefully tonight I’ll get a better rest, a chamomile tea and a better rest.”

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A place in the final looked a million miles away for Kyrgios when he was struggling to beat British wild card Paul Jubb – from Hull – in five sets in the first round.

His wild journey to the final, featuring run-ins with line judges, umpires, opponents, the media and even the crowd, has prompted headlines such as “a menace to tennis” and “Wimbledon’s worst nightmare”, among others.

“Look, it’s hard. It’s something I have to deal with,” he added. “Like, that’s just the world we live in.

“I’m in a Wimbledon final. I know deep down everything I’ve gone through and I’ve worked for. I just try to enjoy the ride. If that’s what they want to write, I guess that’s what they want to write. I can only control what I do.

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“I’m just going to go out there and enjoy the moment. Since I was born, only eight people have ever won this title. Like, eight people. So I’m just going to give it my best shot.”

Kyrgios and Djokovic may have had a frosty relationship over the years, but the Australian now says it is more of a “bromance”.

Kyrgios caused a stir on a podcast in 2019 when he branded Djokovic “cringeworthy” and claimed he was obsessed with wanting to be liked.

But after Kyrgios criticised Djokovic’s treatment by border officials in his homeland ahead of this year’s Australian Open, he says they are now so friendly they even exchange messages on social media.

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“We definitely have a bit of a bromance now, which is weird,” said the world No 40.

“I think everyone knows there was no love lost for a while there.

“I think it was healthy for the sport. I think every time we played each other, there was hype around it. It was interesting for the media, the people watching, all that.

“I felt like I was almost the only player and someone to stand up for him with all that drama at the Australian Open.

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“I feel like that’s where respect is kind of earned. Not on the tennis court, but I feel like when a real-life crisis is happening and someone stands up for you.

“We actually message each other on DMs in Instagram now and stuff. It’s real weird. Actually, earlier in the week, he was like ‘hopefully I’ll see you Sunday’.”

Djokovic smiled when Kyrgios’s comments were put to him after his four-set victory over Britain’s Cameron Norrie.

“I don’t know if I can call it a bromance, yet, but we definitely have a better relationship than what it was probably prior to January this year,” he said.

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“But when it was really tough for me in Australia, he was one of the very few players that came out publicly and supported me and stood by me.

“That’s something I truly appreciate. So I respect him for that a lot.”

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