Kyr­gios ‘pre­pared for come­back af­ter ban’

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

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

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