Kyrgios ‘prepared for comeback after ban’
Australia’s Nick Kyrgios said yesterday he was ready for scrutiny at next month’s Australian Open, as the volatile star prepares for his comeback after a playing ban. The controversial 21year-old said his forced hiatus from tennis-when a meltdown at the Shanghai Masters in October resulted in an initial eight-week suspension-has proved a blessing. A condition of the ATP reducing the ban to three weeks meant Kyrgios has been seeing a sports psychologist to prepare him for the new tennis season.
“I needed to shut down really after a very long and tough year,” Kyrgios told Fairfax Media yesterday. He added he was now focusing on “managing my schedule and time better to help with physical and mental freshness”.
Kyrgios knows he will be in the spotlight at his home Grand Slam tournament and he is working to ensure the media pressure does not derail his campaign. “Look, the added media interest is never easy and it’s something that I haven’t fully got my head around or got used to, but what can I do?” Kyrgios said. “As far as how I’ll deal with it, I’ll just keep my head down and go about my business as I have done the past few Aussie summers.”
Kyrgios, who won three ATP titles this year with his world ranking climbing to 13, believes he is capable of winning the tournament. “Will I? I don’t know. But will I slog my guts out trying to? Without a doubt,” Kyrgios said. He added despite a turbulent 12 months he would back on the year with pride. “2016 was definitely a success ... for anyone in only their second full year on tour to win three ATP titles is pretty big,” he said.
Meawnwhile, world number eight Madison Keys will miss next month’s Australian Open after undergoing wrist surgery, the American said on Friday.
Keys, 21, who made the round of 16 at all four grand slam tournaments last year, had the procedure in early November and would not be ready for the seasonopening grand slam that begins at Melbourne Park on Jan. 16.
“Three days after the year-end WTA Championships I had minor arthroscopic surgery on my left wrist,” she said on Twitter. “The procedure was very short, did not involve any tendon issues and went very well ... I don’t want to rush back and need to take my time to be fully ready to perform my best on the court.”
Keys, who plays right-handed, also revealed she was being coached again by former world number one Lindsay Davenport, having worked with Thomas Hogstedt for the last year.
“I am very excited about working with Lindsay again,” Keys added. “She’s helped me reach great results in the past and we make an excellent team!” — Agencies