© Getty Images

Nick Kyrgios enters the first Grand Slam of the 2018 campaign with the momentum of winning the title in Brisbane.

Kyrgios Wants Off The Rollercoaster

The 22-year-old Australian strives for consistency in 2018

For Nick Kyrgios, the new ATP World Tour campaign means a fresh start, a chance to knuckle down and for fans to buckle up – just expect a tamer rollercoaster compared to previous seasons.

Kyrgios warns there will be peaks, minus the same intense levels of drama.

"I think, last year, there were periods where I was really good and really bad," Kyrgios said. "But at the end of the day, I just need to know it's a long year. I can't expend too much energy on other things. I want to ride the highs, not as high as I usually do. If I lose a match, at the end of the day, it's a tennis match. I want to keep it even-keeled throughout the whole year, rather than it being such a rollercoaster ride."

If the early results are any indication, Kyrgios' reworked mindset and renewed focus are already producing positive results. Kyrgios defeated Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-2 in the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp final to clinch his first ATP World Tour title in his home country of Australia and his fourth tour-level trophy overall. The talented right-hander became just the second Australian to lift the trophy in the tournament’s 10-year history after former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, who accomplished the feat in 2014. 

Kyrgios showed heart and poise throughout the event, battling back from a set down in both the quarter-finals against Alexandr Dolgopolov and the semi-finals against 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov before defeating Harrison for the hardware.

For Kyrgios, familiarity might be one way to summon consistency. And he feels most at home on the No. 2 court at Melbourne Park compared to Rod Laver Arena. The facility's centre court seats 14,820, 4,000 more than the more intimate Hisense Arena.

"Hisense [Arena] is my favorite court here (at the Australian Open)," Kyrgios said. "I've been hitting on Rod Laver [Arena] the last couple of days, just to get out there without the crowd watching. It's been a bit [of a] different feel. But I definitely feel more confident on that court now."

When asked why he feels more in his element on the No. 2 court, Kyrgios' response was simple: past success in Hisense Arena brings back positive emotions and inspiration.

"I guess just the memories," Kyrgios said. "I played a lot of matches and won a lot of matches on that court. Obviously that match in the fourth round against (Andreas) Seppi when I made it to the quarter-finals (in 2015)... ever since then, I've tried to make that memory happen again. I definitely feel comfortable in Hisense Arena."

Whether in Hisense Arena, Rod Laver Arena or otherwise, one thing's for sure — fans can expect a more composed Kyrgios, who is tempering his expectations heading into the Australian Open.

 "I'd like to do well. I'm not going to say quarter-finals, semi-finals, anything like that. I just want to take it one round at a time," Kyrgios said. "Everyone started the year hungry. They can play great quality tennis. I don't want to look ahead at all; I want to take care of business one round at a time."

More stories like this in: