In the minds of players taking on Nick Kyrgios

He’s an entertainer. He’s a showman. He will thrive even more in his own garden if he can supply that.

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Once he starts harnessing the crowd’s energy positively, it can be the catalyst for really good tennis for the rest of the game. This is Kyrgios at his most dangerous.

A non-combatant Kyrgios is not that dangerous. I have a hell of a lot of respect for his game.

It has decent firepower. He’s a firework ready to explode. You try not to ignite it because once it goes off it’s almost impossible to contain it.

He’s got the guns to take it to anyone. The game is on his racket because of these weapons. And the scary thing for everyone else is that he’s starting to believe it himself.

He genuinely believes he can win the Australian Open and that’s half the battle – that belief that you can win seven games in a row to lift the crown.

We all know he has the game. He has one of the best if not the best, serves in the world. Being able to finish his serve so well gives him the freedom to be at his best in his second leg.

That creates a lot of pressure when you go to the line to serve because you know he can catch fire for a game and it could cost you a set.

I saw a big change in Kyrgios last year. He was super impressive in the way he showed up and competed week in and week out.

He’ll admit that didn’t always happen when he was younger. He was absent week after week.

Last year he found the desire to be successful. We saw it at Wimbledon.

That run gave him confidence and we started hearing him talk about how much he loves the game. In the past, things kept him from doing that. He wasn’t exactly enjoying it.

Now he has a smile on his face. He has fallen in love with the sport again and is at the peak of his powers.

Unfortunately, it won’t be an easy path for him as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal still compete at an exceptional level.

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Djokovic is the favourite. He must be. That hamstring jiggling is worrying, but I still think he’s the best player in the world right now.

His ranking may not say it, but we know he had a limited schedule last year due to his vaccination status.

As long as his hamstring is okay, he’s the one everyone’s after. Good luck stopping him.

John Millman is Channel 9’s Tennis Ambassador. Watch the Australian Open live exclusively on Nine.

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https://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/don-t-wake-the-sleeping-giant-inside-the-mind-of-players-who-take-on-kyrgios-20230114-p5cckh.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport In the minds of players taking on Nick Kyrgios

Ryan Sederquist

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