Taking some time out to promote tennis to a budding new generation, tennis young guns Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis have said they’ll be ready for the Australian Open in January.
The Greek Australian doubles partners, playfully dubbed the ‘Special Ks’, say there’s nothing standing in the way of their performances, even if public expectation for them is pretty high.
“At times it [public expectation] can drain you,” Kyrgios said to the media this week.
“You think about it a lot and it can affect you on and off the court. But me and Thanasi are going to put on a show.”
Kyrgios, world number 56 and Kokkinakis, world number 158, have both been working on getting their fitness up to scratch in their down time before the Open.
Kyrgios, who has been nursing a bone stress injury, has been spending most of his time at the gym working on getting it back to health.
“My arm is progressing well, I’ve done everything I can to get in the right space,” he says.
Kyrgios will have quite a bit of match time before he hits the courts in Melbourne. He’s scheduled to play alongside Andre Agassi, Serena Williams and Lleyton Hewitt in the International Tennis Premier League (ITPL) in late November.
Then comes the Hopman Cup and the Sydney International tennis tournament.
Last year, Kyrgios progressed to the second round of the Australian Open, a far cry from his fourth round Wimbledon win against Rafael Nadal in June.
His meteoric rise in tennis could extend into the awards season, as the 19-year-old has been nominated for his first Newcombe Medal for most outstanding player of the year.
Kokkinakis fell to Nadal in the second round of the 2014 Australian Open, and believes if the fixture is kinder to him in 2015, he’ll be in good stead to progress much further.
Using his time wisely, he’s already booked in to have a week-long learning session with world number 2 Roger Federer in Dubai before competing in the ATP challengers in Traralgon.
Before any of that, he’ll need to complete his final year exams.
Kokkinakis says he has to trust his preparation so that he keeps a level head for all his upcoming challenges.
“There’s more pressure this year,” he says.
“People are looking after you more and you’ve got a name about you so you’re expected to perform a bit.
“But you’ve got to trust the work you’ve done in the off-season and know you’ll be ready to go on the day.”
As doubles partners, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis won the junior doubles title at Wimbledon last year and hope to replicate the title at the Australian Open.
Source: The Age