NICK Kyrgios doesn’t need any kind of pep talk to fire up for Roger Federer.
Tennis’s most mercurial talent is pumped for the pair’s third-round US Open showdown on the sport’s biggest stage in New York on Saturday (Sunday 3.15am AEST).
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Kyrgios said about the blockbuster at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The Australian knows nothing less than his best will be good enough. And he believes he can win, just as he did the first time they met three years ago on clay in Madrid.
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That was the first of three classic encounters that have all been decided in third-set tiebreakers.
In fact, five of their previous six sets contested have been tiebreakers. Fans can expect more of the same this time around, with Kyrgios relishing his nothing-to-lose opportunity.
“It’s always going into a match as the underdog,” he said.
“I’m going to put a lot of expectation on myself to play well. I’m not going to go out there and roll over and be happy to be out there.
“I do believe I can win. But it’s better to be the underdog than have all the pressure, for sure.” This will be the pair’s first meeting at a slam, changing the dynamics. “We have never played before best of five,” Kyrgios said.
“Yeah, for sure, to win three sets off Federer, you have to play some pretty consistent tennis. But he’s never played me best of five, either.”