Roger Federer knows he’s in for a tough battle when he faces Nick Kyrgios in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday.
Federer lost his one and only meeting with Kyrgios in the second round of the Madrid Masters in 2015 and is coming up against an opponent who has beaten Novak Djokovic twice in as many weeks.
“I’m looking forward to it. He’s a great player, he played great again today (against Djokovic). He played good against Zverev, as well. He had a good Acapulco,” Federer said.
“I’m very impressed him taking out Novak, back-to-back weeks, on Novak’s best surface. I hope it’s going to lead to something great for Nick that he realises if he puts his head down and focuses that he can bring it day in and day out, week in and week out.”
Federer was asked if there were any similarities in both his and Kyrgios’s “freakish” natural talents, both of which have been widely lauded in the game.
“I don’t know. That’s really up to others to judge,” the 18-time major winner said.
“(But) I think both our games need a bit more time (to develop), especially on the mental side and on the physical side.
“Just bringing it day to day, everyday practice, all that stuff doesn’t come as natural for maybe Nick and myself than for the others.
“I feel like Nick and me, we have a lot of options, so it’s hard for us to always pick the right one, and maybe there are some similarities more than anywhere.”
For Kyrgios, the match in Madrid is more a happy memory rather than an indicator of what may unfold at Indian Wells.
“I think a lot’s happened since then. I have played a lot more matches. I feel more confident in my game, and he’s obviously playing unbelievable at the moment,” Kyrgios said.
“I remember a lot (from that match). It’s completely different conditions from Madrid clay to Indian Wells in the desert. So it’s going to be a completely different game.”
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