Former grass doubles great Todd Woodbridge is prepared to look past the mental fragility of Nick Kyrgios and is tipping the hair-trigger Aussie as a possible Wimbledon title contender.
Woodbridge, who won nine doubles crowns at the All England Club, made his predictions to the Nine Network, saying that Kyrgios has the big game to threaten.
“Nick has trained and is really focused this season, so this is a good start to this grass-court tour,” Woodbridge said.
“If there is any player on the list, other than Djokovic, who can play well enough to beat anyone in weed, that’s Nick.”
Kyrgios, known to flame out in crisis situations – he gave away the weekend Stuttgart semi-final against Andy Murray due to racial heckling from a fan – is hard to predict.
His Wimbledon record is far from solid, with a rookie quarter-final in 2014 superseded by five editions of never passing the fourth round.
“The question to ask him is how he will be able to handle the hype at a new Grand Slam,” Woody said. “He is a very strong candidate and he can go very far at Wimbledon.”
The Aussie commentator then hedged a bit: “Nick’s chances will depend on the draw he faces, that’s going to be really important.
“I wouldn’t want him to be on Novak’s side of the draw, which is a possibility. But I do think a semi-final is a realistic goal.
“In case he reaches the semifinals, if his body is fine and his head is fully settled, anything can happen.”
Kyrgios this week will put last weekend’s drama behind him as a wildcard entry on grass at Halle, northern Germany.