After a turbulent 2019 season full of ups and downs, Nick Kyrgios has managed to keep his focus on tennis in the first month of the new season, taming his temper and producing good tennis for positive vibes and signs. After three victories at the ATP Cup against Jan-Lennard Struff, Stefanos Tsitsipas (one of the matches of the tournament) and Cameron Norrie, heading to the Australian Open with confidence and hoping to reach the clash against world no.
1 Rafael Nadal. Following triumphs over Lorenzo Sonego and Gilles Simon, Nick had to endure one of the most stringent tests of his career so far, ousting Karen Khachanov 6-2, 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 7-6 in four hours and 26 minutes to find himself in the top-16.
There, the Aussie gave his best against Nadal who prevailed 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6, having to work hard to avoid a decider against an inspired rival who gave his 120% in front of the home crowd. Things have been so far so good for Kyrgios in 2020 and he should keep them that way, focusing on his game and improvements that would make him a Major contender.
His compatriot Mark Philippoussis believes Nick is capable of winning multiple Grand Slam titles but only if he starts to beat the players from the top regularly. A former Wimbledon and the US Open finalist thinks Nick has to find something extra during those two weeks at Majors, not reaching the quarter-final for five years now and struggling to endure the physical efforts of the most demanding tennis events.
Still, the older Aussie is happy about what Nick produced at the beginning of the season, urging him to stay determined and resolute about his tennis, with help from his family and friends. "He can win multiple Slams, but for that to happen, you've got to make tennis your absolute priority," Philippoussis said.
"A lot goes into a Grand Slam; it's much tennis. You have to be ready and a little bit lucky; many things have to come into play to win one. But, let's first start with getting deep in the second week and start off putting yourself to win that first one is very important.
I can't speak for anyone else, but Nick's a good kid, he's a good guy. At some stage, tennis career will finish and then it's going to be about life; that's what it's essential. This is one stage of his life, so it's about whatever makes him happy."