Nick Kyrgios is in positive spirits ahead of the 2018 ATP World Tour season and his first match at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp.
The Australian star, who reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final at the Western & Southern Open in August last year, seemed content with his off-season preparations and his recovery from a recurring hip injury.
“Yeah, it's been going good," said Kyrgios. "I went to Melbourne for a couple weeks and trained with all the boys. I'm feeling pretty good. Been training a lot and I've been managing my body. [My hips] been feeling good. I've been doing my rehab every day and right now it's something that you just manage.”
Starting 2018 on home soil brings a unique pressure for World No. 21 Kyrgios, who will be making his main Brisbane debut against compatriot Matthew Ebden. Kyrgios, well aware of the expectations on him, will also be making sure to look at the bigger picture so early on in the season.
“Of course, it's pressure," said Kyrgios. "I feel like there's pressure on me wherever I go. I'm always expected to do well. Coming to Australia, we all obviously want to do well in our back yard, but for me it's just another week.I know you can have five, six terrible weeks, and you can have one good week and it turns around your whole year. So you [have] got to keep things in perspective. If you don't do well here, you can't let it affect the rest of the year."
With so many younger players rising up the ATP Rankings, Kyrgios also reflected on where he sees himself in comparison to the field.
“I still know that in this game I'm pretty young, but I know that obviously guys were doing great things at my age as well," he admitted. "I know that I'm getting older. Obviously, I love seeing these young guys come through. I think they've all got amazing games.
“Guys like [Frances] Tiafoe, [Andrey] Rublev, they've all got game and it's exciting for me to see them put it together. I think they've all got massive potential. I don't know if I feel old. I mean, I feel like I'm pretty young.”
Kyrgios’ 2017 season saw him combine big results, most notably in the three North American Masters 1000 events, with injuries and disappointment. Now with a fresh mentality, the top-ranked Australian hopes to use these experiences moving forward to achieve greater results.
“[It's] obviously a new year, so not too much to go wrong just yet," said Kyrgios. "Hopefully [I can] keep like that for as long as possible. I know there's going to be some ups and downs this year, but, hopefully, it gets better every year. I think I had some great moments last year and some tough ones as well, but hopefully things go right.”
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