Nick Kyrgios admits he feels pressure at every tournament he competes in but that he is able to keep things in perspective, even when playing on home soil in Australia.
The 22-year-old Aussie is the No. 3 seed in Brisbane this week, and opens his campaign against his compatriot Matthew Ebden on Wednesday.
Ranked 21 in the world, Kyrgios has been in search of a Grand Slam breakthrough ever since he stormed onto the scene with a shock win over world No. 1 Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon to reach the quarter-finals three and a half years ago.
An opportunity once again presents itself when the Australian Open comes around in two weeks' time.
"Of course there’s pressure. I feel like there’s pressure on me wherever I go. I’m always expected to do well. But I know what you mean, coming to Australia we’re all obviously looking to do well in our back yard, but for me it’s just another week," Kyrgios told reporters in Brisbane.
Former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic is still in Dubai as was spotted wearing a bandage over his injured elbow that forced him to withdraw from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi as well as this week’s Qatar Open.
Djokovic had told Sport360 last week that he was looking forward to beginning the new season “pain-free” but suffered a setback that forced him to delay the start to 2018.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion has made no public announcements regarding whether he will play the Australian Open in two weeks’ time or not but admitted his latest injury setback could force him to adjust his schedule.
His coach Radek Stepanek is with him here in Dubai, which is positive sign that Djokovic could be at least practicing.
Two days ago, world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua posted a photo of him and Djokovic with the Burj Al Arab hotel in the background.
A real humble brother, all the best next year 🎾🤙🏾 pic.twitter.com/I5ORntWYrF
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) December 30, 2017
If Djokovic does end up playing the Australian Open, he would have to dust off some serious rust having not played a match since Wimbledon last July.
Madison Keys dealt with her tight opening round defeat to Johanna Konta at the Brisbane International with great perspective and lots of positivity after the pair put on an impressive show to start the new year.
In a first round clash between two players ranked No. 9 and No. 19 in the world, it was the higher-ranked Konta who came out on top 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in a two-hour seven-minute battle.
"It was damn good tennis today so… I haven’t played a match in four months so I was like it’s a win for me," said a smiling Keys, who is back to full health now after going through wrist surgery early last year.
"Obviously knew it was going to be a tough match. Played really well, she played better, not much that I can do about it, not that upset about it. I think if I played the way that I played, against most people today I probably would have won. She happened to be better, too good."
Great start: For Jo Konta.