The Australian showed a master class as he swept aside Krajinovic, a beaten finalist at Queen’s Club two weeks ago, in just an hour and 25 minutes on Thursday and 24 aces in the course of a 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 win lap .
It was a statement performance – and Kyrgios knew it.
“I just wanted to prove to people that I’m really good,” he told reporters, “and sometimes I feel like I just don’t have the respect.”
But against Krajinovic he let his tennis do the talking and at times seemed completely unplayable.
Only at the beginning of the second set did the Serb take a point from Krygios’ serve, which he only managed to do nine times in the entire match.
The speed cannon on the court eventually stopped working, but later revived in time to stop a 135mph Kyrgios serve – eight mph below his 2019 tournament record.
Mixed with his masterful serve was some deft touches – particularly a perfectly weighted lob that delivered his first break of the third set and prompted chants of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” from his gold-clad fans – and clean, accurate ball hit from the baseline.
“I really wanted to go out today and remind everyone that I can play really good tennis with no distractions,” Kyrgios said. “The crowd enjoyed it today and it was just business-like.”
When asked about the incident after Thursday’s game, Kyrgios was optimistic. “I played against Filip Krajinovic today. Don’t you want to know how I played?” he shot back.
Kyrgios made several confrontations to the media during the post-match press conference.
“There was just nothing the media could tell me that I did anything wrong today,” he said as he reflected on his performance.
“All I know is that there’s no way you can ask me anything and upset anything. I love it because you can’t write anything. what will you say nothing today
In fact, some of his shots against Krajinovic were stunning. During the game, he scored 50 winners, including a jabbed backhand backhand to seal the win.
This led to an extremely exciting third-round clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas after the fourth seed’s straight-set win over Jordan Thompson.
A deep run at Wimbledon seems overdue for Kyrgios. His best result here remains a quarter-final appearance in 2014, when he made his tournament debut aged 19, defeating then-world No. 1 in the process. 1Rafael Nadal.
On Thursday, Kyrgios retired from men’s doubles to give himself ample opportunity to recover – “I’m a singles player, my priority has always been singles,” he explained – and said so in his on-pitch interview that was this year’s Wimbledon “Circled on my calendar pretty much all year round”.
“It’s a tournament in general that I think is my best chance to win a Grand Slam out of all four,” added Kyrgios.
He told Wide World of Sports that at one point in his life he felt “worthless” and was deeply affected by abuse on social media. However, he added that the Covid-19 pandemic has helped him get a grip on his mental health and at Wimbledon Kyrgios said he was adopting a more positive attitude.
“I just feel like I’m comfortable in my own skin. Some people love to just tear me down, but that’s just not possible anymore,” he said.
Play like Thursday and nobody will be able to tear Kyrgios down on the pitch either, such was his superiority over Krajinovic.
“I’m extremely confident in myself, all the challenges that I’ve overcome in my life,” he said.
“I’m proud to be up here and doing it my way. To be able to produce tennis like this at Wimbledon is a dream come true for any tennis player.”