Kyrgios wins Brisbane International
8 January 2018
TENNS: Nick Kyrgios has doused any concerns of injury after claiming his maiden ATP title on home soil and first since 2016.
The third seed combined casual flair with enormous power to beat Ryan Harrison 6-4 6-2 at the Brisbane International in an ideal build up to the Australian Open later this month.
And while he again played with his left knee strapped, Kyrgios is confident his body will be able to hold up to the rigours of best-of-five set tennis in Melbourne.
The 22-year-old staved off five break points in the first set, including three in his third service game as the American made a terrific fist of dealing with the booming Kyrgios delivery.
But the Australian third seed held his nerve and pounced at his first opportunity to break, then raced through the second set as the world No.47 failed to keep pace.
"The way I put myself in some pretty tough situations, came back from a set down three times against three pretty good opponents, that's just confidence mentally but physically as well," he said of his week in Brisbane.
"I'm pretty happy with my performance today; he came out firing early.
"I didn't know what kind of performance I'd put in, as the week went on I felt I was serving better and hitting the ball a lot better."
Kyrgios' fitness will come under the microscope ahead of the season's first grand slam.
At one stage in the first set he quizzed a match official after not being allowed a medical time-out to re-strap his knee, hypothetically raising the notion that further injury could keep him out of the Australian Open.
Kyrgios clarified after the match that it was simply "professional curiosity" that led to that conversation, dousing any suggestion that the injury could derail his Melbourne campaign as he confirmed his attendance at Monday's Fast4 exhibition tournament in Sydney.
His movement only improved after that exchange, a 17th ace sealing the victory in 1 hour and 13 minutes as he appeared largely untroubled navigating the court.
"The more the load, the more movement given, the better it gets," he said.
"I played 11 sets (in the tournament) and feel good."
In lifting the Roy Emerson Trophy, Kyrgios becomes the second Australian champion in the tournament's 10-year history after Lleyton Hewitt in 2014.
The triumph, the fourth of his young career, lifts Kyrgios four spots to No.17 in the world ahead of this month's Australian Open.
"He's obviously very motivated and very comfortable," Harrison said.
"You know, he's going to be a danger to beat anybody that he plays whenever he plays like that.
"I think that it's nothing new, though, for him."