Nick Kyrgios again found himself at the center of controversy this week
Tennis star Nick Kyrgios rarely strays too far from controversy and after once again finding himself in media's crosshairs in the opening days of Wimbledon, the Aussie says that the increased attention on him is having a galvanizing effect on his performances.
Kyrgios was reportedly issued with a $10,000 fine in the wake of his match with Paul Jubb earlier this week after he spat in front of spectators he accused of 'disrespecting' him on the court, while also engaging in a verbal fracas with one of the officials.
But speaking after a comprehensive straight sets win again Filip Krajinovic (6-2, 6-3, 6-1) on Thursday, Kyrgios stated that he wasn't going to submit to the (center) court of public opinion - and that he has channeled the media spotlight on him into his performances.
Kyrgios dropped just three points on his own serve as he blitzed 26th seed Krajinovic and said afterwards that when he is in this kind of form, he is a very difficult player to beat.
"I'm just super pleased with my performance today. I played really well from every aspect of my game," he said afterwards.
"If I can just continue to play like that, I'm very dangerous."
Thursday's near-faultless performance came in contrast to a somewhat more turgid effort on Tuesday which ultimately led to him losing his cool with members of the audience and officials alike, which led to an array of complaints by the British tennis media.
"My performance in my first round was just not where I wanted to be, especially with the way I've been playing and the way I've been training, the hard work I've been doing. I was pretty disappointed in my performance in the first round," Kyrgios admitted.
"Then obviously the media's disrespect and just everything, it was just kind of a reminder to put you all (the media) back in your place from the performance today."
The Australian also suggested that he was uninterested in any potential investigation into his antics earlier this week, and that any probes into his more fiery performances only serve to distract from his bid to win the first Grand Slam of his career.
"I couldn't care less if there is an investigation about me doing that, to be brutally honest," he said.
"I know what I bring to the sport. I'm one of the most important people in the sport. Nothing to investigate there because it's just factual."
Awaiting Kyrgios in the next round will be fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas who also advanced to the third round with relative ease - but the Australian will likely be buoyed by his prior meeting with the Greek earlier this year when he came back from a set down to win at the Halle Open just two weeks ago.
"I'm excited," he said. "I feel like we both earned the right. We're two of the biggest stars in the sport. Hopefully if we both bring our best tennis, it's going to be amazing to watch."