The Australian made a professional showing on his serve when he ousted Krajinovic, who lost a final at Queen’s Club two weeks ago, in just 1 hour and 25 minutes on Thursday, hitting 24 aces over the course of a 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 win. .
It was a great performance – and Kyrgios knew it.
“I just wanted to prove to people that I’m really good, and I feel like I’m not being respected sometimes,” he told reporters.
But against Krajinovic, he let his tennis do the talking and, at times, seemed completely unplayable.
It wasn’t until the start of the second set that the Serb earned a point from Kriege’s serve – something he was only able to do nine times throughout the match.
The velocity pistol on the field stopped working at one point, but later came back to life in time to record Kyrgios’s 135 mph sprint – eight miles per hour short of his championship record from 2019.
Some great touches mixed with his outstanding serve – notably, a perfect-weight Loeb who delivered his first break of the third set, prompting chants of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” from his gold-clad fans – and a clean, accurate hit from the baseline.
“I really wanted to go there today and remind everyone that I can play really good tennis without any distraction,” Kyrgios said. “The audience enjoyed it today and it was just business.”
When asked about the incident after Thursday’s game, Kyrgios was upbeat. “I played Filip Krajinovic today. Don’t you want to know how I played?” to reply.
Kyrgios pitted himself against the media on several occasions during the post-match press conference.
“There was nothing the media could tell me that I made a mistake today,” he said, reflecting on his performance.
“I know you can’t ask me anything and tease anything. I love it because you can’t write anything. What would you say? Nothing today. I shocked you all.”
In fact, some of his shots against Krajinovic were surprisingly good. He achieved 50 wins during the match, including hitting him with a backhand to take victory.
That led to a very exciting third-round showdown against Stefanos Tsitsipas after the fourth seed beat Jordan Thompson in straight sets.
The deep run at Wimbledon appears to be too late for Kyrgios. His best result here remains to appear in the quarter-finals in 2014 when he made his debut in the tournament at the age of 19, in the process beating the world record at the time. 1 Rafael Nadal.
On Thursday, Kyrgios withdrew from the men’s doubles event in order to give himself ample opportunity to recover – “I’m a singles player, my priority has always been singles,” he explained – and said in his court interview that this year’s Wimbledon circuit has been “circled in my calendar.” Pretty much all year round.
“It’s a tournament that I think is my best chance of winning major titles out of the four,” Kyrgios added.
He told Wide World of Sports that he felt “worthless” at one point in his life and was deeply affected by abuse on social media. However, he added that the Covid-19 pandemic has helped him improve his mental health, and at Wimbledon, Kyrgios said he is adopting a more positive frame of mind.
He said, “I just feel so comfortable in my own skin. Some people like to tear me apart, but that just isn’t possible anymore.”
Play as he did on Thursday, and it would be impossible for anyone to tear Kyrgios down on the court as well, that was his edge over Krajinovic.
“I am very self-confident, all the challenges I have overcome in my life,” he said.
“I’m proud to be here and to do it my own way. Being able to produce tennis like this at Wimbledon, it’s a dream come true for any tennis player.”