NICK Kyrgios has lost three times to Andy Murray at grand slams but he will take plenty of confidence into tonight’s fourth-round showdown at Wimbledon.
Kyrgios turned in a top performance to defeat Spain’s Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-7 6-3 6-4 after resuming the match at a set-all following the previous day’s rain delay.
The 21-year-old, a quarter-finalist two years ago when he defeated Rafael Nadal, will need equal focus against Murray.
Murray has an unbeaten record against Australians, stretching the ledger out to 18-0 after defeating John Millman in the previous round at the All England Club.
The Scot, who is now tournament favourite after Novak Djokovic’s shock exit, played Kyrgios three times last year – at the Australian Open, where he won 6-3 7-6 6-3; at the French Open, defeating the Aussie 6-4 6-2 6-3; and winning 7-5 6-3 4-6 6-1 at the US Open.
Kyrgios knows it will be tough to defeat the Scot but will give it his best shot.
“This is his backyard. He’s won here before,” he said.
“But this is probably my best surface, my best chance to beat him.
“At the same time he’s pretty comfortable on the grass.”
Murray, meanwhile, has defended his Aussie opponent after saying Kyrgios had been given a “rough ride” from the media in the past few days.
“You guys try and wind him up the whole time,” Murray said.
“He’s improving all the time.
“He likes the big courts, the big matches. Has performed well in those situations before.”
Bernard Tomic is also in action on tonight against French 32nd seed Lucas Pouille, after he defeated Juan Martin del Potro.
Tomic has the chance to match his achievement of 2011 when he reached the quarter-finals as an 18-year-old.
The 19th seed has been seeking the advice of Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt and said they would discuss a strategy ahead of the clash with Pouille.
“I don’t know too much about him,” Tomic said of Pouille.
“I have to assess and sit down with Lleyton and the team and discuss what the best situation is to play him.”