Nick Kyrgios received a welcome confidence boost ahead of the Australian Open by clinching the Brisbane International title on Sunday and admits he was encouraged by how he performed under pressure throughout the week.
The 22-year-old overcame an early assault from Ryan Harrison before he stormed to a 6-4, 6-2 victory over the American, and lifted his first tour-level trophy on home soil.
"I guess just the way that I put myself in some pretty tough situations. You know, came back from a set down three times and, you know, against three pretty good opponents," said Kyrgios when asked what he was most pleased about this week in Brisbane.
"And for me, that's just confidence not only mentally but physically as well, and battling and fighting hard. And it's good to see the work I was doing in the offseason is paying off. But pretty happy with my performance today."
Kyrgios claimed his fourth career title with a 73-minute success over Harrison, who couldn't convert any of the five break point opportunities he created in the opening set.
Kyrgios to umpire: "So this is in the rulebook right now? That he can just leave the court for like 10 minutes"
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) January 7, 2018
That winning feeling! #TeamKyrgios ❤️🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/eoXDeaIoIF
— John Morris (@JohnMorris1982) January 7, 2018
Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka have both had their first practice sessions at Melbourne Park ahead of next week's Australian Open as they look to make their first competitive appearances since Wimbledon last July.
Djokovic, who has been dealing with an elbow injury, and Wawrinka, who had double knee surgery last August, will test themselves in a Tie Break Tens exhibition event on Margaret Court Arena on Wednesday January 10.
Andy Murray is reportedly suffering from pain in both his hips, rather than just his right one, according to Pat Cash, who spoke to the Sunday Times about a conversation he had with the Scot in Abu Dhabi last week.
Cash, an ambassador for the Abu Dhabi event, apparently spoke to Murray about his physical problems that have sidelined him from the tour since Wimbledon last July. The Australian 1987 Wimbledon champion says Murray told him he has pain in both hips.
Murray flew to Brisbane from Abu Dhabi, in hopes of returning to action, but pulled out of the tournament, as well as next week’s Australian Open.
“I was talking to Andy in Abu Dhabi and told him I was getting pain in one of my hips and he told me his problems were in both hips,” Cash told the Sunday Times.
“He was pretty open about it and I thought he was resigned to the fact.”
He added: “Andy has been a great champion, but the way he has always played, in a style that relies so much on fitness and being stronger than the other guy, and the way he has punished his body, the end result was always going to be something like this.”
Murray posted an emotional message on his Instagram account last week detailing his struggle with his ongoing hip injury, and admitted that surgery is an option.
Cash’s comments imply the ex-world No. 1 is potentially facing double hip surgery.
Marvelling at the depth of medical knowledge that some ex players, radio presenters, journalists and sports pundits appear to have acquired recently. pic.twitter.com/f38XCN33xW
— judy murray (@JudyMurray) January 5, 2018