Nick Kyrgios has made a shaky yet successful return to tennis after 12 months absence, winning his first round match at the Murray River Open.
Kyrgios, currently ranked 47th in the World, has has a turbulent few years within the sport, receiving numerous fines for unsportsmanlike conduct and a 16 week suspended ban in late 2019.
The Australian then chose to sit out most of the 2020 season due to health concerns and travel restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
An ever controversial figure in the sport, Kyrgios recently hit the news when he publicly criticised World number one Novak Djokovic labelling him ‘a tool’ for suggesting improvements for Australian Open competitors in hard quarantine.
Last week Kyrgios revealed that he hadn’t missed the sport or the other players during his sabbatical but that he was feeling refreshed and ready for a return.
After losing the opening set to France’s Alexander Muller, Kyrgios went on to win his first match back 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 and says it was due to staying calm and believing in himself.
“When I lost the first set I never really panicked,” said Kyrgios, who will face fellow Australian Harry Bourchier in the next round.
“I was actually just still finding my feet honestly. I actually thought I was serving reasonably well.
“I wasn’t playing anywhere near my best. But I thought my attitude was okay. I kept that pretty calm.
“I’m actually happy the way I dealt with it and I just drew from experience. I was nice to myself.
“I was like, ‘Look, you lost a set, your first set back and you’re playing a guy who has nothing to lose really’.
“He came out swinging. I actually think that he would have beaten a fair few guys in the draw today.
“All around, [I] just believed, really.”
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