Kyr­gios’ bat­tles within

Mo­ti­va­tion a big strug­gle

Warwick Daily News - - SPORT - DAR­REN WAL­TON

TEN­NIS: Nick Kyr­gios ad­mits he’s strug­gling to “lay it all on the line” as he en­ters a sixth Aus­tralian Open cam­paign.

While feel­ing “in a good spot” after seek­ing pro­fes­sional help to con­quer his men­tal demons, world ten­nis’s most mer­cu­rial tal­ent con­cedes he’s find­ing it tough to com­mit 100 per cent to the rigours of life on tour.

Kyr­gios of­fered short shrift to Mark Philip­pous­sis’s week­end claims that he was “ter­ri­fied to show that he’s try­ing” and suf­fer­ing from a fear of fail­ure­type syn­drome.

“Cheers Mark,” he said ahead of an ex­plo­sive first-round show­down with power-serv­ing for­mer Wim­ble­don fi­nal­ist Mi­los Raonic to­day.

But the 23-year-old does ac­knowl­edge he strug­gles for mo­ti­va­tion. “I don’t think it’s got to do with who I’m play­ing,” Kyr­gios said.

“I’m try­ing to fig­ure it out still. Just try­ing to go out there and give my best ef­forts ev­ery day.

“If I could pro­duce (my best) ev­ery day, ob­vi­ously I’d be one of the best in the world.

“But we all have our chal­lenges that we try to over­come and, for me, it’s go­ing out there and lay­ing it all on the line.”

Kyr­gios was in­spired by jour­ney­man John Mill­man’s cap­ti­vat­ing run to the US Open quar­ter-fi­nals, when the Queens­lan­der top­pled Roger Fed­erer two days after the Swiss great thrashed Kyr­gios in straights sets on the very same court.

And the 23-year-old wishes he had a smidgen of Mill­man’s

work ethic. “If I had one per cent of what John could do ev­ery sin­gle day – train­ing 100 per cent, tick­ing all the boxes – I’d prob­a­bly be much more of a player than I am right now,” Kyr­gios said.

“But I’m still work­ing on it.” Re­fresh­ingly for his fans, Kyr­gios still hopes it “hap­pens” for him.

“We all can hope. I hope so. But it is what it is at the mo­ment,” he said, be­fore brush­ing off his sup­pos­edly bru­tal Open draw. Peo­ple are go­ing to think: ‘You drew Raonic, it’s a bad draw.’ I don’t really care,” said the world No.52 who is un­seeded in Mel­bourne for the first time since mak­ing the quar­ter­fi­nals in 2015.

“I’m healthy, happy, I’ll go out there and com­pete. What­ever hap­pens, hap­pens. Ob­vi­ously Mi­los is a tough player.

“We’ve played each other a cou­ple times at grand slams. We’ve played each other at Masters events, tour events.

“We both know each other’s games fairly well. We know what’s com­ing. I can see it as a good thing. I have to be locked in from the get-go.”

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