January 30, 2021
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Nick, tell us how you prepared for the Melbourne Summer Series and the Australian Open. You had a lot of time at home that you were not used to in the past.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I mean, this was a new year for everyone. Last year was a crazy year. For me, I was incredibly lucky. I'm from Canberra. Honestly, I think it was the best part of the world during everything. There were no restrictions there for seven months. I was incredibly lucky to just be with my family and friends and just kind of reset on everything.
I feel mentally completely refreshed, ready to go again. But yeah, I mean, I was lucky enough that Jordan Thompson came down to Canberra for the last month, too, so we were training together.
I feel like I am playing well and am ready to go. Everyone is really playing it by ear. Nobody really knows who is in form and who is not. I'm going to take it day by day and try to enjoy myself as much as I can.
Q. A lot of other players are scrambling for court time. Do you feel like you've got plenty under your belt?
NICK KYRGIOS: Well, I mean, I'm not the great comparison to other players really in the sense of how many hours I put on court or anything like that. I'm never one to go out there and hit for four, five hours a day anyway.
But I just felt mentally I felt like I was in a place mentally wanting to play and feel refreshed. I felt like I was always going to be playing well. I'm not a person that has to play plenty of matches before a Grand Slam or anything like that.
Yeah, I mean, I've been hitting two hours every day probably for the last couple months. So that's plenty, in my opinion. We'll see how it goes. I actually had a couple injuries during the year where I wasn't playing. I don't usually have injuries when I'm playing. I was dealing with a couple body issues. I'm just keen to see how it goes.
Q. How much have you missed tennis being away from it? Not just the competitive aspect, but seeing everybody really?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don't miss too many people on the tour, to be honest. Apart from all the Australian guys, it was good to see de Minaur. I saw him upstairs. A couple of my good friends. I saw Tommy, all these guys. It is just good to see them through a global pandemic, seeing them all safe and healthy is good.
I actually didn't touch a tennis racquet for the first four or five months of quarantine. I wanted to get completely away from it. It was actually tough to start getting back into it.
I'm not going to lie. I didn't miss the game that much. I'm a competitor. I compete with everything I do. I was playing computer games, all that kind of stuff, getting my little competitive edge there. I didn't really miss the game at all.
It was a bit of a task to get out there, get in the routine of things. Wake up and say, Look, we got the Australian Open around the corner, let's put some work in. It wasn't so easy.
Q. (Question about being excited to play.)
NICK KYRGIOS: I'm excited. I played a set with Jordan Thompson today. It was fun. It was fun to be out there. I'm not taking this for granted at all either. It's the Australian Open. I'm extremely blessed to be here again. I'm not sure how many of these I played now. I definitely feel like I'm a veteran of the tour now. Every time you get a opportunity to play a Grand Slam, everyone has done an amazing job to get it going, I feel like we're keeping it safe.
I'm just happy to be around it again. I am excited to get out there and play. Something I've dedicated my entire life to. See how it goes. Hopefully I can have some good results, as well.
Q. Nick, you said you didn't miss it that much. You've also spoken about the fact that you feel you're an entertainer on court. Did you miss that aspect? Also, did this time off allow you to set a different goal for this year if everything falls into place with the tour?
NICK KYRGIOS: In my time off I wasn't thinking about tennis at all. I was going through a couple off-court things. My mum was not so healthy. I was focusing on things that actually matter to me personally. Tennis to me is not my top priority.
But I've never been a heavy goal-setter. You know my career. I've never been one I want to hit this ranking mark, I want to have these sort of tournament results.
But honestly it's just come around so quick. Like I feel like it's been a year since I haven't played. It feels like I was literally sitting in this place two days ago after I lost to Rafa in the fourth. Feels like nothing stopped happening.
The last year gave me opportunity to kind of dabble in areas I wanted to do, like apart from tennis. It feels like last week I was playing the Australian Open, so...
Q. Tell us about your first-round opponent, from France.
NICK KYRGIOS: I don't even know when the tournament starts. I didn't even know the draw was out.
Q. Came out today.
NICK KYRGIOS: I'll wake up, I'll serve big, I I'll play big, see how it goes.
Q. You have an opponent that you know nothing about. Do you prepare any differently for that?
NICK KYRGIOS: No, I don't prepare differently for anyone.
Q. Are you disappointed you're not in the ATP Cup? You like that team environment. You happy enough to try to go a few rounds?
NICK KYRGIOS: I'm not disappointed at all. Look, I'm not a jealous or envious person at all. When I get the call up saying I don't make the ATP Cup, I don't have no bad blood with any of my teammates. I'm super proud of all those guys on the team.
It's a great opportunity for Luke Saville to experience. He's been a well-established doubles player now. He's good enough to make a dent in the Australian Open, as you saw last year. It's a great opportunity for him.
John Millman, he's a lot older than me. He's put a lot of hard work in. Last year he risked it to go play, to get his ranking up. That's what it's about. It's good to see him having success. Obviously Demon, he's going to do some special things, winning that tournament first of the year.
I'm happy for them. I'm not upset at all that I don't get to play. Obviously it's nice being around the guys, the team environment. But I'm not stressing about it.
Q. Did any of the other players on tour get in touch during the year to talk about what Australia experienced with the pandemic, what they might have to do to meet the quarantine requirements when they came to Australia?
NICK KYRGIOS: Did they contact me?
Q. Yes. Did they contact you?
NICK KYRGIOS: No, not really. I don't have many ongoing conversations with too many people on the tennis tour outside of Australia. But, no, I'm not sure. I don't really understand the question.
But, no, they haven't reached out or contacted me. I'm not sure why they would contact me.
Q. They might have just wanted a better idea what people had gone through in Australia to understand the measures, whether they sussed you out or not.
NICK KYRGIOS: No, no, no one.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports