Kyrgios confident ahead of Australian Open quest
The 22-year-old enjoyed his most consistent year on tour in 2017, finishing in the top 20.
A self-professed older and wiser Nick Kyrgios says he’s feeling as good as ever in a lead-up to the Australian Open.
And why not?
The 22-year-old enjoyed his most consistent year on tour in 2017, finishing in the top 20 after solid runs at Masters 1000 events.
He backed that up with his first title on home soil last week in Brisbane and, barring a pesky knee complaint, has every reason to look forward to the first grand slam of the year.
“I feel pretty confident,” he said on Saturday.
More than any of his wins in Brisbane – including over world No.3 Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals – Kyrgios said he was most happy with his headspace through the first fortnight of the year.
Could it be that the wild child of Australian tennis is settling down?
“I feel a bit better this time around. I feel relaxed. Obviously, winning a tournament before you play a grand slam helps,” he said.
“I overcame some adversity in that tournament, coming from a set down a couple times.
“The way I kind of conducted myself in my matches, I think that’s the main improvement.
“Last year, there were periods where I was really good and really bad … I just need to know it’s a long year.
“I want to kind of ride the highs (but) not as high as I usually do. If I lose a match, at the end of the day, it’s a tennis match.
“I want to keep it even-keeled throughout the whole year rather than being such a rollercoaster ride.”
Kyrgios brought a physio to Melbourne mid-week to help with his knee complaint, which needed strapping through his matches in Brisbane.
“My knee feels good,” he said.
“I’ve had the luxury of getting treated in my room at my hotel. I haven’t been spending too much time around the courts.
“I’ve been kind of doing my practice, getting out of here and just relaxing.”
The top Australian hope faces Brazilian veteran and world No.100 Rogerio Dutra Silva at the first stage in their very first meeting.
A lack of court time this week hasn’t dampened Kyrgios’ self-belief to mix it in the five-set format, despite winning just two matches at the four majors in 2017.
“With all these younger guys coming up, I kind of feel like I’m getting a bit older,” he said.
“I feel very confident in best-of-five matches. I’ve played a lot of them now.”