Kyrgios backs Barty for Wimbledon success
Nick Kyrgios hails Ash Barty's incredible talent at the same time as tipping his fellow Aussie for Wimbledon success.
Nick Kyrgios has hailed French Open champion Ashleigh Barty and declared his fellow Australian is the woman to beat at Wimbledon.
Speaking ahead of his first-round clash at Queen’s Club on Wednesday, Kyrgios said he was delighted by Barty’s Paris triumph and tipped it to be the first of many Grand Slam titles for the Queenslander.
“She’s probably the most talented tennis player I’ve seen in a long time,” Kyrgios said.
“I grew up with her … we were travelling to Thailand through Asia and playing juniors. I always knew she was going to be a champion at some stage, just how bad she wanted it.”
Grass is the world No.2’s preferred surface and Kyrgios believes Barty has what it takes to become the first Australian since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002 to taste success at the All England Club.
“I actually think she’s probably one of the favourites for Wimbledon, for sure,” he said.
“Australia had been waiting for that next player to win (there) … and I think she’s our best chance.
“She’s amazing, she’s gonna pile them up.”
Kyrgios’ countryman Alex de Minaur, also playing at Queen’s, is taking inspiration from his fellow Newcombe Medal winner’s French Open win.
“It was amazing. Ash and her team have always been great to me, always been super nice,” he said.
“To see what she has done is pretty special. The sky’s the limit for her.”
Kyrgios will play Adrian Mannarino in a tricky opener with the French left-hander fresh from success over Australia’s Jordan Thompson in the final at Rosmalen, in the Netherlands, on Sunday.
After sitting out of Roland Garros with a stomach bug, Kyrgios said he’s now fully fit, but dismissed suggestions he may play Wimbledon doubles with close mate Andy Murray.
Former world No.1 Murray makes his stunning return to tennis on Wednesday, five months after retiring, in the doubles at Queen’s alongside big-serving Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
De Minaur, meanwhile, takes on Aljaz Bedene for a place in the last 16 at Queen’s.