Nick Kyrgios staying focused ahead of Australian Open
"I think last year there were periods where I was really good and really bad"
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 13/01/18 12:41pm
Nick Kyrgios says he has had enough of such a "rollercoaster" ride and would rather "keep it even-keeled" on the tennis court as he prepares for the Australian Open.
Kyrgios is a polarising figure in Australian sport - his superb tennis skills are often marred by poor behaviour on court, but the 22-year-old is now ready to take a more mature approach to his career.
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."
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Kyrgios arrives in Melbourne in good form, winning the lead-up Brisbane International last weekend, beating Grigor Dimitrov along the way.
And the Australian crowd-puller has tempted the home public to believe in him 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.
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.
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."
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 says he is in good shape ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year.
He said: "My knee feels good. 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.
"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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