Nick Kyrgios is off and running in this week’s Washington ATP event, with the Wimbledon finalist inspired by his close call in the grass-court Grand Slam final with Novak Djokovic.
The Australian who lifted the Atlanta doubles trophy at the weekend with Australian Open championship partner Thanasi Kokkinakis, starte his singles well as he beat Marcos Giron 6-3, 6-2 for a place in the second round.
But memories of his Wimbledon final continue to drive the 27-year-old towards perfection in a complete 180-degree turnaround from some of his previous attitudes on court.
“Sometimes I feel a bit of a perfectionist, maybe I’m too hard on myself. If someone wins a match in an hour, it’s normal to be happy, but sometimes I can win 6-3, 4-0 and I still get angry about things,” Kyrgios said,.
“The Wimbledon final has made me obsessed with trying to play every point perfect, but this is not realistic.”
The Australian added: “”Nobody plays a match without making unforced errors, not even Djokovic or (Rafael) Nadal – we all fail.
“I’m going to be a little bit kinder to myself, stop waiting to play every perfect point.
“All this is a new experience, there are players who reach a Grand Slam final and then suffer for the next six months, I don’t want this to happen to me.”
Kyrgios is nothing if not inspired by his All England Club showing less than a month ago.
“I’m having a great year, if Wimbledon had given points now I’d be in the top 15 or top 20 in the world.
“I feel like I’m playing at that level of tennis, like I’m top 10 or top 5 right now.
“Obviously, losing that final hurts – since I was little all the coaches whispered in my ear what Wimbledon meant – (it’s) the most important trophy that can be won.
“Having that opportunity and falling short is not easy to digest, after all, if you win Wimbledon, then no matter what happens with your career, you can say that you achieved the greatest.
“Now that weeks have passed, there are a lot of things that I would have done differently in that match, so I just think about doing my best to put myself back in that position.
“Now we all know it’s possible, we never thought it was possible to compete for the Grand Slams.”