February 1, 2021
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Nick Kyrgios did not miss tennis or most of his fellow players during his year away from the game, the 25-year-old maverick said ahead of his return to action at an Australian Open warm-up event next week.
The outspoken Australian will take on Frenchman Alexandre Muller in the opening round of the Murray River Open on Monday in what would be his first competitive match in a year.
“I’m not going to lie. I didn’t miss the game that much,” Kyrgios said on Saturday.
“I’m a competitor. I compete with everything I do. I was playing computer games, that kind of stuff, getting my little competitive edge there. I didn’t really miss the game at all.”
Kyrgios said he did not even touch a tennis racquet for the first four-five months as he wanted to get away from the game.
“I don’t miss too many people on tour to be honest, apart from all the Australian guys and a couple of good friends.”
He criticised world number one Novak Djokovic earlier this month after the Serbian had asked the Australian Open organisers to ease quarantine restrictions for players.
Kyrgios said he was lucky to have spent a “crazy year” with his family and friends before resuming training with compatriot Jordan Thompson.
“I feel mentally completely refreshed, ready to go again.”
“I feel like I am playing well and am ready to go. Everyone is really playing it by ear. Nobody really knows who is in form and who is not.
“I’m going to take it day by day and try to enjoy myself as much as I can.”
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)