Nick Kyrgios is able to embrace the strain of being one of many Australian Open favourites for the primary time.
The 27-year-old is ranked 21 however, having reached his first grand slam singles closing at Wimbledon final summer time after which the quarter-finals of the US Open, has proven he generally is a critical contender on the most important phases.
Kyrgios’ dedication to tennis has been repeatedly questioned over the previous few years however he turned a nook after lifting the doubles crown right here final yr with Thanasi Kokkinakis and can bid to develop into the primary dwelling males’s singles champion since Mark Edmondson in 1976.
“I am one of the best players in the world so I’m definitely going to go into the Australian Open, any tournament, with confidence,” mentioned the Australian primary after apply at Melbourne Park.
“It’s a bit different this time around for me being one of the favourites. Usually I’m a dark horse type thing but now, obviously after the year I’ve had, I’m one of the favourites so it’s kind of new for me as well.
“This is the first time I’ve genuinely gone into a slam feeling like I’m one of the guys that can really take the trophy and knock on the door. I don’t know what I’m going to be feeling when I get out there.
“Usually I’ve got nothing to lose and just putting on a show, but I’ve got to try to really find that balance. Fourteen days to win one of these things is not easy. Obviously I’m capable but so many other people are capable as well.”
Kyrgios pulled out of representing Australia on the United Cup on the eve of the match citing a leg damage however declared himself match and prepared on Thursday whereas asserting his funding within the South East Melbourne Phoenix basketball staff.
He is because of tackle Novak Djokovic in a apply match in Rod Laver Arena on Friday night, with tickets promoting out inside an hour.
Djokovic has been battling a hamstring damage sustained in Adelaide final week and lower quick a apply session on Wednesday however he was again on court docket on Thursday, albeit with strapping defending the issue.
Kyrgios expects the conflict to go forward, saying: “I haven’t heard anything else. He knows what he needs to be feeling moving forwards. But I wouldn’t have any doubt. I still think he’s a clear favourite.”
Djokovic’s return to Melbourne following final yr’s deportation can be one of many principal themes of the match.
Kyrgios was one of many few gamers to publicly stick up for Djokovic and criticise his nation’s dealing with of the saga, altering the 2 males’s relationship, which had been frosty.
Fans have already been instructed they are going to be thrown out if they’re disruptive of their reactions in direction of the nine-time Australian Open champion.
Kyrgios mentioned: “I know people are always going to have people they hate on court and people they love. I’m one of the players that deals with it everywhere.
“I would just say Novak’s here and he hasn’t made any rules. He’s here and all he wants to do is put on a show.
“He’s chasing things that athletes rarely are able to chase, he’s one of the greatest athletes of all time, not just on a tennis court. I know there are going to be people that won’t want him to win but I think they just can’t cross that line as fans.”
Friday additionally sees the primary episodes launched of Netflix’s tennis documentary Break Point, during which Kyrgios is without doubt one of the stars.
“It wasn’t only for me,” mentioned the Australian. “I think it’s in desperate need for the tennis world to get put on the map globally again. Obviously when Novak and (Rafael) Nadal go as well as Roger (Federer).
“This Netflix (show) is kind of the last hope that tennis is going to be interesting globally on the map for a long, long time. We’ve got a lot of young personalities. I think the first episode is pretty exciting and I think it will keep people interested for sure.”