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Nick Kyrgios ready to knuckle down as he bids for Australian Open

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Nick Kyrgios has had enough of the rollercoaster ride and insists he is ready to take a more mature approach to his career.

After another season packed full of highs and lows in 2017, the 22-year-old was relaxed and thoughtful as he discussed his prospects for the Australian Open.

No-one is more aware of his own flaws than Kyrgios, which has made his failure to address them all the more frustrating.

“I think last year there were periods where I was really good and really bad,” he said. “But at the end of the day I just need to know it’s a long year.

“I can’t expend too much energy on other things. I want to kind of ride the highs, not as high as I usually do. If I lose a match, at the end of the day, it’s a tennis match.

“I kind of want to keep it even-keeled throughout the whole year rather than being such a rollercoaster ride. I guess right now that’s what I’m doing. Brisbane was a great week, but I had to prepare for the Australian Open, and I prepared.”

Kyrgios’ extravagant gifts mean expectations are always high but a hugely impressive run to the title at the Brisbane International last weekend has tempted the Australian public to believe once more.

Their faith wavered significantly 12 months ago when he was booed during a second-round loss to Andreas Seppi from two sets up.

2017 Australian Open - Day 3

He said: “I feel for me there’s pressure wherever I go. I’m expected to win a lot of matches. No matter if I’m here, Wimbledon, US Open, it’s the same for me.

“I’d like to do well. I’m not going to say quarter-finals, semi-finals, anything like that. I just want to take it one round at a time.

“Everyone started the year hungry. They can play great quality tennis. I don’t want to look ahead at all. I want to take care of business one round at a time.”

There has never been a doubt that Kyrgios is capable of winning a grand slam but both mental and physical resilience has been a major issue.

2018 Australian Open: Previews

He retired during matches four times during 2017, including three in a row at Queen’s Club, Wimbledon and at the ATP tournament in Washington.

Kyrgios has been handed a tough draw in Melbourne, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Grigor Dimitrov standing in his path to the quarter-finals.

He battled a knee problem in Brisbane but insisted he is in good shape.

He said: “My knee feel goods. My physio flew in, so I’ve had him for the last two, three days. I’ve had the luxury of getting treated in my room at my hotel.

Tie Break Tens

“I haven’t been spending too much time around the courts. I’ve been doing my practice, getting out of here and just relaxing. So it’s been good.

“I feel very confident in best-of-five matches. I’ve played a lot of them now.”

The 17th seed will begin his campaign on his favoured Hisense Arena on Monday against Brazil’s Rogerio Dutra Silva.

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Australian Open
Tennis

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