The last time Nick Kyrgios appeared on court, the Australian retired in his Acapulco title defense opener with a left wrist injury. That incomplete match with Ugo Humbert was on February 25, 2020.
Kyrgios would opt out of traveling to tournaments when the ATP tour resumed in August and for the most part, his Instagram was the only insight into his tennis activities. The 25-year-old is expected to make his return at Melbourne 2—an ATP 250 event—before launching his Australian Open campaign.
Ahead of the 2021 season start, TENNIS.com checked in with Kyrgios to learn more about his extended period at home and thoughts on playing in front of crowds come February.
What was a day in your life like during your time away from the tour?
I’ve enjoyed being back home in Canberra. It’s given me an opportunity to spend with my family and friends and get some perspective on things both on and away from the court. We have had various lockdowns and some restrictions but on a whole, I feel like Australia has managed the COVID situation pretty well so far. I’ve given my body a bit of a break, but now I’m back on the court working hard [to get] ready for the Australian summer.
When you were home, did you tend to uncover news on your own or see stories on places like Twitter and then go investigate?
I stay up to date on my social feeds but I don’t really seek out anything in particular.
What have you heard about the new normal from your fellow Aussies and peers who’ve played in the U.S. and Europe since the August restart?
Not too much, to be honest. I think some players benefit from not having big crowds while others feed off the energy. It’s definitely made a huge difference being able to train and work out in my hometown. Also just having my family and friends around me definitely keeps me in a great frame of mind.
You’re someone who naturally pulls a crowd in. What are your thoughts on the potential of having fans attend events in Melbourne?
I just want everyone to be COVID safe. There are more important things in the world than tennis and I just don’t want the sport to put itself ahead of the health of others. I love playing in front of fans, especially in Melbourne for the Australian Open. But I don’t want to be reckless. That said, I know a lot of things are at stake. I’m confident Tennis Australia will take the necessary steps to ensure everyone is safe. Whether that be with crowds at quarter, half of full capacity.
Complete this sentence: The year 2021 will be ________________.
Fresh. I’m feeling great and ready to go.