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Saturday 22 September 2018

Rafa: I can improve

Kyrgios looks to ‘cause uproar’

RELIEVED: Rafa Nadal was glad to get a win under his belt at Wimbledon. Photo: Getty Images
RELIEVED: Rafa Nadal was glad to get a win under his belt at Wimbledon. Photo: Getty Images

Nick Kyrgios has vowed to "cause a bit of an uproar" at Wimbledon.

The flamboyant Australian served a new personal record of 42 aces as he beat Denis Istomin in four sets to book a second-round clash with Robin Haase.

Kyrgios insisted he struggled for rhythm in easing past Istomin 7-6 (7/3) 7-6 (7/4) 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 - but still feels ready to hit top form in London.

The 23-year-old revealed the "tug of war" internal mental battle that underpins his every match, before pinpointing an extended run at the grass-court grand slam.

"I'm just in a lot better place than I was last year. I came into Wimbledon last year injured, in a pretty bad mental state," said Kyrgios.

"I was out of the game for two and a half months. So coming back, I've been excited. I've been winning a lot of matches. Playing on grass.

"I guess I'm in kind of like a happy place. I feel like I'm playing well.

"I feel like I'm one of the guys that can cause a bit of an uproar at this event.

"I just have so many thoughts when I'm out there. I get so angry. I just go through so many different patches in a game.

"I guess it's so hard for me to find that balance.

"I look like I don't care one minute, then the next minute I'm playing really well. Not much really goes on, to be honest. It's a tug of war all the time."

One of Kyrgios' bullet serves struck a ball girl on the arm, leaving the Australian apologetic but impressed with her resolve.

"Originally when I heard the sound, I thought it hit the scoreboard," said Kyrgios.

"Then I realised it was her arm. She started crying. It was tough but she took it like a champ. I'd have been crying, for sure."

Kyrgios could yet face friend and countryman Bernard Tomic in the third round, with Tomic due to face 24th seed Kei Nishikori next.

Tomic was fined £11,600 after his first-round defeat to Mischa Zverev at Wimbledon last year, for feigning injury to induce a medical timeout.

The outspoken Tomic later admitted he felt "bored" with tennis, but Kyrgios believes his Davis Cup team-mate is inching back to top form.

"Me and Bernie, I don't think we've ever played on the tour," said Kyrgios of compatriot Tomic.

"We've practised a lot. He was one of my Davis Cup team-mates.

"We've hit a lot against each other. On the grass, he's a nightmare. If he puts his mind to it, he can do some damage here, for sure.

"I feel like there's a bit of weight off his shoulders, he looked like he was having a bit of fun."

And of his second-round opponent Haase, Kyrgios added: "He's savvy, an old guy who knows how to win tennis matches."

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