Home » Kyrgios’ Djoker-powered step towards comeback; Murray’s Bond moment: Wimbledon Talking Pts

Kyrgios’ Djoker-powered step towards comeback; Murray’s Bond moment: Wimbledon Talking Pts

Kyrgios’ Djoker-powered step towards comeback; Murray’s Bond moment: Wimbledon Talking Pts

The second day at Wimbledon opened with the sad news Andy Murray would not be able to play his singles, which prompted emotional reactions around the ground but also evoked memories of one of the great press conferences in recent history in tennis.

Did someone say the name Bond? James Bond?

Not Nick Kyrgios, who is a big fan of the Scottish great. Kyrgios had some news of his own, revealing in a commentary gig he will be hitting with Novak Djokovic on Wednesday after the Serbian “superhuman” returned to the court with an easy opening round win.

On a rain-delayed day where Australians Alex de Minaur, Alexei Popyrin and Adam Walton progressed and Thanasi Kokkinakis launched a late comeback against Felix Auger Aliassime in a match yet to finish, Aleks Vukic pondered how best to beat Carlos Alcaraz tomorrow.

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De Minaur knocks out fellow Aussie | 01:05

KYRGIOS STEPS UP TO FOR JOUST WITH THE ‘DJOKER’

Nick Kyrgios will bounce from the commentary box and on to the grass courts at Aorangi Park on Wednesday to hit with seven-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic as he takes another step in his comeback from a career-threatening wrist injury.

The Australian said on ESPN during the Serbian’s dominant 6-1 6-2 6-2 win over Czech Republic qualifier Vit Kopriva that he would be hitting with the superstar he once used to ridicule on social media but has now formed a bromance with.

Kyrgios, who is planning on a comeback next month in doubles and has also committed to a UTS exhibition event at Forrest Hills in the lead-in to the US Open, said he cannot wait to hit some balls with the rival who defeated him in four sets in the 2022 Wimbledon final.

“(I’m) hitting with Novak tomorrow on his day off (and) feel like a little kid again. Feeling excited. (It has been a) long way back from this surgery,” he posted on social media.

Djokovic, who will play British wildcard Jacob Fearnley in the second round, did not look hindered by recent knee surgery on a torn meniscus in his left knee.

But it was also notable the Serbian seemed to hold something in reserve on a couple of strokes – he appeared to avoid leaning into low slices on the backhand wing and open-stance forehands, for example – but was not fully tested by his lowly-ranked rival.

“Obviously I started a little bit more cautious, I would say. I didn’t really maybe go for certain shots 100 percent in terms of … the far balls in the first set. I played … just enough to win confidently in straight sets. I felt like as the match progressed, I moved better,” he said. “Those couple points I think when I broke him in the second set, I did one slide. That was the first slide of the grass court season for me. I haven’t done it even in a practice week, so that was a great test.

“After that, I felt happy that I did it, because in a way you also feel mentally hesitant to do those extreme movements. But knowing that I can do it is, obviously, very comforting and very positive.”

MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA. January 23 , 2024. Australian Open Tennis. Day 9. Novak Djokovic vs Taylor Fritz on Rod Laver Arena. Novak Djokovic hugs special guest interviewer Nick Kyrgios after his 4 set win . Pic: Michael Klein
MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA. January 23 , 2024. Australian Open Tennis. Day 9. Novak Djokovic vs Taylor Fritz on Rod Laver Arena. Novak Djokovic hugs special guest interviewer Nick Kyrgios after his 4 set win . Pic: Michael KleinSource: News Corp Australia

NOTHING BLACK OR WHITE WITH THE DJOKOVIC AS HE ADOPTS SHADES OF GREY

Aside from rehabilitating the knee, Djokovic has had another challenge he is yet to pass, namely finding a white knee brace to comply with Wimbledon’s all-white clothing policy.

“I actually just met (the) chairwoman just before walking onto the court. She gave me the thumbs up, so it was okay,” he said.

“Of course, we did check in the days prior if we have a permission. We’re trying to find a white one, trust me. I saw Frances Tiafoe played (and) he had actually a black colour sleeve. Grey, I think, it’s maybe slightly better towards the white.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 02: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates winning match point against Vit Kopriva of Czechia in his Gentlemen’s Singles first round match during day two of The Championships Wimbledon 2024 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 02, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

ALCARAZ ON THE HUNT FOR A GIRLFRIEND, WHICH SPELLS TROUBLE FOR AUSSIE ALEKS

As Aleks Vukic pondered how he would go about tackling defending champion Carlos Alcaraz on Wednesday, the Australian pointed out that anyone was beatable if they were not at his best.

The Sydneysider noted even legends could wake up on the wrong side of the bed, or get into a spat with their better half, and so on, as he prepared for their clash on Court No.1.

“Sometimes … it’s less drastic, as if they don’t play well or something like that. Who knows?” he said.

“Sometimes you wake up and you’re (feel) low energy or, I don’t know, his girlfriend is pissing him off the day before. These kind of things happen. And you need to be in the right space and I’m going to try to capitalise and do my best to do that on Wednesday.”

Advised that Alcaraz had declared he was in the market for a girlfriend in a feature story published in the United Kingdom on the eve of the tournament, Vukic chuckled.

“Well maybe he is out late, or something,” he said.

Australia’s Aleksandar Vukic returns the ball to USA’s Taylor Fritz during their men’s singles semi-final tennis match at the Rothesay Eastbourne International tennis tournament in Eastbourne, southern England, on June 28, 2024. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)Source: AFP

AUSSIES TO FEATURE IN MURRAY TRIVIA QUESTIONS

Andy Murray did not receive the singles farewell he deserved from Wimbledon, with the Scot deciding not to risk further damage after undergoing surgery on his spine to remove a cyst a week ago.

Barring a remarkable comeback next year – and there were some in London on Tuesday who would not rule out the dual-Wimbledon champion having another crack at the grass in 12 months time – his pending retirement has ensured a couple of Australians could become the topic of trivia questions around the United Kingdom in years to come.

Jordan Thompson stands as the last man to play the former world No. 1 in singles given it was against the Sydneysider at the Queen’s Club a fortnight ago that Murray felt a loss of sensation in his legs.

And Alexei Popyrin shapes as the final victim of Murray during his distinguished career, with the dual-Olympic gold medallist producing an impressive performance at Queen’s against the big-serving Australian prior to the cyst flaring a day later against Thompson.

“I didn’t bring my best level that day. I think I was a little bit starstruck about the situation (of) playing Andy Murray,” Popyrin said.

“I am a huge fan of his and I think he’s one of the greatest of all time, just a super great, unbelievable player with what he’s done for tennis. It was just a really weird situation for me.”

Murray’s decorated career has been the subject of great fanfare over the past few weeks in London, understandable given the 37-year-old ended a drought of 77 years dating back to Fred Perry when defeating Novak Djokovic to win the Wimbledon title in 2013.

The right-hander, who defeated Milos Raonic to win his second Wimbledon and Roger Federer at the All England Club and Juan Martin del Potro in Rio de Janeiro for his gold medals, also led Great Britain to break a drought of 79 years when winning the Davis Cup in 2015.

This journalist had the fortune of assisting Murray, who practised at Wimbledon on Tuesday and is hopeful of playing doubles with his brother on Thursday, when he was the guest columnist for The Australian for a number of years and found him generous and insightful.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 02: Andy Murray of Great Britain leaves the practice court during day two of The Championships Wimbledon 2024 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 02, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

THE TIME JAMES BOND CRASHED A MURRAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Murray’s retirement also evoked memories of one of the more surreal press conferences in tennis when, after he reached the final of the US Open in 2012 in what proved to be his first major title, two legends decided to gate crash the question and answer.

It was already a surreal scene at Flushing Meadows as the sky darkened with a monster storm front moving in from Long Island Sound, prompting hurricane alarm systems to ring amid a mass evacuation of people from the tennis centre in Queens.

We’ll leave it to Andy’s mum Judy to detail what unfolded in the corridors under Arthur Ashe Stadium after her phone pinged midway through his semi-final against Tomas Berdych.

“It was Alex Ferguson. He said, ‘I can see you. I’m in a suite and I’ve got an orange top on.’ I said, ‘You need to be more specific’, and he said, ‘Look up, I’m waving at you. Come up to the suites after the match.’” she told The Times.

“I went up to find him and, of course, he made me have a glass of wine. Then he said, ‘I want to see Andy.’ I said, ‘Right, OK. I’ll try to get you down into the player area.’ The security is tough down there, but I thought, ‘Well, he is Sir Alex, so we’ll try.’

“We got to the bottom of the stairs and Sean Connery was there. He says, ‘Aw, Judy, this is wonderful. Andy’s in the final.’ The two of them were so excited and they obviously knew each other.

“Alex was like, ‘We’re just going to see Andy. Come with us.’ So I’m standing outside the media room with the two of them and the security guards are trying to move us on because there’s been a hurricane and they are clearing the whole arena. And they (said), ‘Let’s just go in,’ and I was saying, ‘You can’t go in.’

“Andy is up on the podium and the two of them walk in, don’t look anywhere near the media, go straight onto the podium and just start this conversation between them. Then Andy said, ‘Hi mum’, so I went over, gave him a hug and he said, ‘You’ve been drinking.’

“Andy does not drink and he can smell wine at ten paces. The three of us were ignoring the press conference and it was just these two great white knights of Scotland going crazy about what Andy had done. It was quite a surreal moment for all of us.”

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 08: Andy Murray of Great Britain laughs with actor Sean Connery after his men’s singles semifinal match against Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic on Day Thirteen of the 2012 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP== FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY ==Source: AFP