Nick Kyrgios with the Brisbane International trophy. Picture: Getty Images
Nick Kyrgios with the Brisbane International trophy. Picture: Getty Images

Kyrgios says Open defeat ‘left a bad taste’

TENNIS: Nick Kyrgios says he can glimpse the promised land of the top-five this year, confident he can maintain the motivation and concentration of his Brisbane International title.

Kyrgios rose from No.21 to world No.17 on the rankings with his Brisbane title and as he is defending second-round ranking points only at the Australian Open, the chance is there for him to go overseas with a better place than his career-high No.13.

After a 2017 season without a title, Kyrgios raised silverware in the first week of the new season and a player who admits to being challenged by the grind of the tour said he was "looking forward to getting on the road'' overseas after next month's Davis Cup tie in Brisbane against Germany.

The Australian No.1 said his early and turbulent loss at Melbourne Park last year had "left a bad taste'' in his mouth and he wanted to do well in front of Australian crowds, starting with his first final win on home soil on Sunday night over American Ryan Harrison at Pat Rafter Arena.

"You have to keep putting in the hard yards and having weeks like this,'' Kyrgios said on Monday before heading to Sydney for the Fast4 program.

Nick Kyrgios wants to perform in front of his home fans. Picture: Getty Images
Nick Kyrgios wants to perform in front of his home fans. Picture: Getty Images

"I don't think you need to play too many tournaments. I'm never going to play 25 tournament-plus (in a year) - it's about picking the right tournaments and be invested in the ones I pick. It's more than possible to finish in the top 10, top five if I'm playing like this.

"The first quarter of my year is pretty hectic. After the Australian Open, I have Davis Cup and then a good block of tournaments. I'm looking forward to getting on the road again (after) soaking up as much as I can in Australia.''

Kyrgios's court demeanour was better than seen at many tournaments last year, with no code violations in four matches at Rafter Arena, and he will do well to keep his temperament in check under the best-of-five sets format.

Asked if he had re-discovered a passion for the sport, he said: "I guess so. It always helps if you are winning big matches, especially in front of a home crowd as well.

"After last year, not doing so well at the Australian Open (second round exit), it left a bad taste in the mouth. I came back and played Davis Cup. I wanted to do well in front of the crowd this week and it's given me a lot of confidence.

"If I wanted to get a code (violation), I would have. I feel like I'm always going to play with emotion. I've definitely had a bit of a roller coaster ride my whole career.

"I thought I was playing well and there was no real need to get mad - it was the first tournament of the year, a new start. I didn't have too much expectation.''



Gympie firefighters save houses, selves from raging bushfire

premium_icon Gympie firefighters save houses, selves from raging bushfire

Residents forced to leave homes at North Deep Creek

MUSTER DAY 1: What you can't miss this Thursday

MUSTER DAY 1: What you can't miss this Thursday

Two global music superstars will make an appearance - of sorts.

Dear Libs, if you're going to ditch Mal, don't send Pete

premium_icon Dear Libs, if you're going to ditch Mal, don't send Pete

What was Peter Dutton thinking?

Local Partners