Former world No. 13 Nick Kyrgios was happy with the way he performed in front of his home fans in Australia. Kyrgios, who played his last tournament od the 2020 season in February last year, made the Murray River Open round-of-16, before losing to Dominic Thiem in the Australian Open third round in tight five sets.
"It doesn’t feel like I’ve been away for a year,” Kyrgios said after losing to Thiem, per Tennis Australia. "Atmospheres like that are special and not many people get to play like that. “I embrace it every time I’m out there”.
Kyrgios was up by two sets before Thiem created a comeback to win 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-4. "The energy out there was special,” Kyrgios noted. “I’m still proud of myself. You know, I took 13 months away from the game, and to produce that level and go toe to toe with one of the best players in the world, I’m pretty proud.
I left it all out there."
Kyrgios insists he has a big heart
Last year, Kyrgios wanted to help his community during the pandemic and his good deeds didn't go unnoticed. "That I have a big heart,” Kyrgios responded, when asked what he had learned about himself in 2020.
“I was going through a lot during the year, and I was pretty proud (with) the way I prepared. “I was really, really, really happy with the way I played”. Kyrgios fell just short of beating world No. 3 Thiem but he drew positives from his defeat.
“I mean, he’s the third-best player in the world for a reason, and I’m right there and I believe in myself,” said Kyrgios. “I knew that today I had an absolute fighting chance. I walked in that match expecting to win. That’s how I always go into a match”.