CANBERRA has been attributed towards settling Nick Kyrgios down for a “massive reset” before stepping out on court at the Australian Open.
The 25-year-old won through to the tournament’s second round after a solid 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win on Monday night (February 8) against Frederico Ferreria Silva from Portugal.
Kyrgios labelled his performance “average” after spending most of 2020 in his hometown with little time for competitive tennis.
“I haven’t played a grand slam match in over a year,” Kyrgios told former Australian Open champion Jim Courier during the post-match interview on court.
“I was definitely nervous, very nervous, walking out.
“I knew I wouldn’t be able to produce anywhere near my best tennis.”
Unlike many of the world’s top stars in the game, Kyrgios elected to stand out of the big tournaments during the pandemic.
It was a rare opportunity to remain in Canberra where he spent more time within his own community, including delivering food to the doorstep of the vulnerable who had fallen on hard times.
The public perception of Kyrgios since the first of several kind gestures during COVID-19 has been changed positively.
“I had nothing to complain about,” Kyrgios said.
“I think Canberra had it the best – it was the best place in the world, we were.
“I was very fortunate that covid did not affect me or my family, but, yeah, Canberra didn’t have a case for over six months, so we were very lucky there.
“I was able to spend some time with my family and it was really fun.
“I just used it as a massive reset and I am just glad to be back here.”
The challenge does not get easier back on the court ahead of facing 29th-seed Frenchman Ugo Humbert on Wednesday.
The world No.47, who is unseeded at the Australian Open, feels he will come out the better from his straight-sets victory on John Cain Arena.
“We’ll see – hopefully,” Kyrgios said.
“He’s an amazing player, one of the most improved players from last year and he won a couple of titles, I think.
“He’s very tricky, but I am not thinking about that.”