There has never been a question about Nick Kyrgios’ talent. But now the Australian is more determined than ever to make the most of it and continue his rise up the ATP World Tour. He will debut in the main draw of the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp, which will take place from 31 December through 7 January.
“I’m training much harder in the gym, so hopefully my body gets stronger and I can go deeper into tournaments on a more consistent basis,” Kyrgios said. “I’m taking much better care of my body now, and I feel like I’m giving myself the best possible chance of winning tennis matches. My hip isn’t troubling me and I’m being more disciplined with my rehab, so hopefully the hard work starts to pay off.”
The right-hander was hampered by a hip injury toward the end of the 2017 season, losing in the first round of three of his final four tournaments before ultimately cutting his campaign short after the European Open in Antwerp. The three-time ATP World Tour champion has been open about spending time on the basketball court for fun despite having some niggles.
“Playing lots of basketball wasn’t great for my body, people have told me that and I’m now starting to listen,” Kyrgios said. “So I’m feeling fit, healthy and as motivated as I have for a while. I feel much more ready to go and play good tennis than I did this time last year. I’ve also improved my diet, all the things you need to do to be at your best.”
Kyrgios got a practice session in on Wednesday at Queensland Tennis Centre, the home of the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp. He last appeared in Brisbane five years ago, losing in the first round of qualifying against compatriot James Duckworth.
The 22-year-old is plenty familiar with the facility ahead of his first main draw appearance at the tournament.
“I’ve also trained here in the off-season in the past, so I feel very comfortable out here,” Kyrgios said. “It’s a great tournament with a very strong field again this year, so I’m very excited. It’s great preparation for the Australian Open, but I’m not thinking about the A.O. or any other tournament at the minute. I’m just focused on getting my year off to a good start here in Brisbane.”
Kyrgios’s most recent appearance was at a charity exhibition against Juan Martin del Potro on 15 December in Argentina. The Australian donated $100,000 of his appearance fee straight to his NK Foundation, which strives to both increase access to and provide sport to underprivileged & disadvantaged youth.
While Kyrgios has not set any goals or completed his full schedule for 2018 just yet, he is excited about doing two things in particular.
“My main goals are just to stay healthy and play as much tennis as I can,” Kyrgios said.