‘More focussed than I’ve ever seen him’

Mats Wilander thinks it will need “a big player” to defeat a revitalised Nick Kyrgios at this year’s Wimbledon.

Kyrgios has continued to show the full range of his emotions on court during the tournament, but he has married that with a renewed focus on his tennis – and he has reaped the rewards by reaching the fourth round courtesy of a fiery win over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday night.

Kyrgios plays Brandon Nakashima for a place in the SW19 semis, with Wilander talking up his chances.

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“I think he’s a different person right here in this tournament,” Wilander told Eurosport.

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“He said after the second round that his best chance of winning a Grand Slam is winning Wimbledon.

“He said he thinks he’s a good player.

“I think that what came out against Stefanos Tsitsipas [a series of on-court spats] is him really, really wanting to win tennis matches.

“And with that comes maybe a little bit more of him talking and of him being upset, and of his style of entertainment.

“But I think he’s more focussed than his time around than I’ve ever seen him, except maybe a couple of years at the Australian Open.

“I think he’s playing and serving great, and it’s going to take a big player to beat him.”

Like many in the game, Wilander is already looking ahead to when the pair may clash again on the tour.

“I hope that they can bury the problems and be friends, but on the court they’re going to be fighters,” Wilander said.

“And if this is what we have to look forward to, most people are going to be glued to the TV – including me – but I just hope that it goes in a little bit more of a positive direction in terms of the spirit and behaviour on court.”

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Watch daily highlights from Wimbledon at 10pm on Eurosport 2 and discovery+ from June 27, as well as the two singles finals live on July 9 and 10.

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