Nick Kyrgios urged to ‘do his thing’ and ‘knock Novak Djokovic out of his comfort zone’ in Wimbledon final

Nick Kyrgios antics

Nick Kyrgios needs to do what he is best at during the Wimbledon final and that is “unsettle” Novak Djokovic by “winding him up” with his usual antics, according to former British No 1 John Lloyd.

Sunday’s Centre Court showpiece match has been hailed as a blockbuster as Djokovic will be gunning for a seventh title at SW19 and a 21st Grand Slam while Kyrgios is hoping to win his maiden major.

2022 Wimbledon men’s final info, recent form, head-to-head, what they said: Novak Djokovic vs Nick Kyrgios

Several of Kyrgios matches en route to the final have been eventful with his first-round win over Paul Jubb highlighted by a spit at a fan, whom he accused of racially abusing him, while his third-round encounter against Stefanos Tsitsipas contained several heated exchanges.

And while many purists are not fans of the Australian, commentator Lloyd feels he needs to keep at it on Sunday.

“If I was in Nick Kyrgios’ coaching corner on Sunday, I would tell him to do his thing. If there’s anyone who can knock Novak Djokovic out of his comfort zone, it is Kyrgios. Djokovic’s mental strength is just great, but when Kyrgios starts winding you up it can be unsettling,” he wrote in his column for the Mail on Sunday.

He added: “I’m not a fan of when Kyrgios goes too far, as he did against Stefanos Tsitsipas, but when he’s on his game he’s a genius.

“I have to say I never envisaged Kyrgios winning a Grand Slam. Not because of a lack of talent, there’s no doubt he has that, but I didn’t think he had the mindset to put it all together for a full tournament. Listening to him, I don’t think even he did.

“Now I just hope he doesn’t go into his shell because it’s the final. Go for it. Do your thing. I think he will. If the umpire lets him, he won’t be worried about etiquette. He’s trying to win a final and will do whatever it takes to do it.”

Despite copping criticism over his on-court behaviour, Kyrgios has attracted a lot of fans off-court and kids often want to play like him with Lloyd saying he is “their guy”, but there is a danger that the youngsters will start to copy the “bad” things.

“I hear people ask whether Kyrgios winning Wimbledon will be good for tennis. I’m sure there’s plenty at the All England Tennis Club who will be appalled by the idea of him being their champion,” he wrote.

“But I can tell you that whenever I talk to kids at junior tournaments, he is the one they like. He’s the one they all talk about. No ifs, not buts. Kyrgios is their guy.

“They love everything he does. They love the trick shots, they love the underarm serves. They love the fact he almost takes on the whole world when he plays.

“Many who wouldn’t usually sit down to watch the final will do this time because it’s him. Because he’s box office and you don’t know what he’s going to do next. What the lasting effects will be, who knows. The constant intimidation, berating of line judges and umpires can become repetitive and boring.

“And that’s not a good habit to form for younger players.”