Australian tennis is on the rise again: Nick Kyrgios
The 19-year-old talks about staying fit and how tennis wasn't his first love.
Australia tennis sensation Nick Kyrgios feels that tennis in the country is on the rise once again, with the emergence of several young stars like himself, Bernard Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
“I think Australian tennis is coming back in a really strong way.You’ve got the older guys like Sam Groth doing well in Brisbane, James Duckworth, everyone saw how John Millman played last Thursday night (losing to Roger Federer two sets to one),” the 19-year-old told the Telegraph.
“I’m not going to say there will be a changing of the guard, I think the top four will be there for another two or three years.The younger guys, myself, Thanasi, I think Bernard has proved already that he can match it with some of the best in the world. He has just got to stay focused and keep training hard.”
“Omar Jasika as well, winning the juniors, there is a good next generation of Australian stars coming up. But we’ve still got a long way to go and we must stay consistent,” he added.
Preparations for Melbourne Park haven't been the best: Kyrgios
It is but natural that a rivalry will develop between players in the coming years, but Kyrgios isn't too much perturbed about it and feels that there is still a lot to learn for them.
“When two top Aussies go at each other, there is a bit of pressure there, you are playing one of your mates.
“There is a bit of rivalry there between us all, but between me, Thanasi and Bernard we know it’s only early days in our careers.There is a long way to go,” the Australian added.
Responding to Australian legend Ken Rosewall’s suggestion that the players must keep themselves fit, Kyrgios said that his main objective was to remain healthy for a considerable period of time. He also added that his preparation for the upcoming Australian Open hasn't been the greatest, but remained hopeful of doing well.
“The preparation hasn’t been ideal with the back injury, but it’s coming along well and I am noticing improvements.” he said.
Tennis wasn't my first choice of sport: Kyrgios
On a lighter note, Kyrgios also revealed that he initially had no ambition of becoming a tennis player and his first love was basketball. He also said that he made the decision to opt for a career in tennis only at the age of 14.
“I started playing tennis when I was seven, I didn’t really like the game at all. I played basketball at school first, I was playing at a reasonable level. I wasn’t the best athlete running around, I wasn’t gifted at all athletically,” he said.
“My mum took me down to the tennis courts, I had normal tennis lessons. I hated it really, until I was about 16. My dad was coaching me, always pushing me, almost making me cry every time. There was a part of my life when I was not even going to bother with it,” Kyrgios added.
“When I was 14 I had to choose which sport I wanted to pick and I strongly wanted to go basketball, but my parents and family wanted me to go down the tennis road. It’s pretty interesting, I was very close to not having a tennis career,” he concludes.