Kyrgios takes on Wimbledon's old man and mate

Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:31pm EDT
 
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By Pritha Sarkar

LONDON (Reuters) - Nick Kyrgios described his first-round clash with the oldest man at Wimbledon -- wily Czech Radek Stepanek -- as "pretty crazy" on Saturday, saying the 37-year-old had been offering to help coach him.

Stepanek likes nothing better than to make life difficult for more celebrated opponents, as world number two Andy Murray discovered last month when he came within two points of defeat in the first round of the French Open.

But Stepanek, the oldest man in the singles, may end up regretting offering the Australian tips on how to win matches when the two face off on Tuesday.

"To play Stepanek obviously is pretty tough. I'm really good mates with him as well," 21-year-old Kyrgios, who has been bumped up from his world ranking of 18 to 15th seed, told reporters.

"He was just helping me a little bit. So ... playing him now, it's pretty crazy."

Asked what kind of pointers he had been given by Stepanek, who coincidentally was the first player the Australian faced when he made his grand slam debut at the French Open in 2013, Kyrgios swiftly changed the subject.

"He was offering to help me a little bit. He's getting towards the end of his career," he said. "He's still playing some great tennis. I feel like grass is his best surface. 

"I know it's going to be very tough," added Kyrgios, who could meet 2013 Wimbledon champion Murray in the fourth round.   Continued...

 
Australia's Nick Kyrgios bites his shirt during his third round match against Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 22, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File photo