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Alarm bells not ringing for Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios insists alarm bells aren't ringing ahead of the Australian Open despite his Brisbane International title defence ending in the second round.

Alarm bells not ringing for Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios insists alarm bells aren't ringing ahead of the Australian Open despite his Brisbane International title defence ending in the second round.

NICK KYRGIOS of Australia plays a forehand against Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany during the Davis Cup match at Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane, Australia.
NICK KYRGIOS of Australia plays a forehand against Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany during the Davis Cup match at Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane, Australia. Picture:Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Even the bloke who knocked Nick Kyrgios out of the Brisbane International felt sorry for him.

But combative tennis star Kyrgios reckons alarm bells aren't ringing ahead of his Australian Open campaign.


Kyrgios' Brisbane title defence ended abruptly in the second round after unseeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy pulled off a three-set boilover.

Yet arguably more damage was done off the court with Kyrgios guaranteed to miss out on an Australian Open seeding due to the shock loss.

The 23-year-old is set to dive from No.35 to 52 ahead of the opening grand slam after failing to defend his 2018 Brisbane title - his lowest ranking in four years.

It ensures Kyrgios' Australian Open hopes will be at the mercy of the fickle draw, leaving him susceptible to an early clash with a top seed.

His good mate and world No.40 Chardy couldn't help but feel for his regular hitting partner's plight despite driving home the dagger himself.

"I am happy with the win but he is my friend - it's always difficult to beat someone you like," former Australian Open quarter-finalist Chardy said.

Kyrgios appears vulnerable ahead of the Australian Open after his preparation was hampered by a light off-season disrupted by a spider bite to his foot that required several days of hospital treatment at his hometown Canberra.

But the dual grand slam quarter-finalist could still find positives from his disappointing Brisbane run, his main warm-up before Melbourne.

"I'm serving well. That's a positive," said Kyrgios.

"And to go three sets with a guy like Jeremy after barely practicing in the off-season, I take as a positive.

"Now I gotta get to the practice court, hit a lot of balls and move into the Australian Open - that's what I gotta do."

Kyrgios was indeed impressive with his serve in Brisbane.

He nailed 25 out of 25 of his first serve points in the opening set against the 31-year-old Chardy before it all went pear shaped.

The former world No.13 also snuck home in a rusty first-round clash with American Ryan Harrison - a re-match of the 2018 Brisbane final - on the back of a stunning 44 aces.

Yet Kyrgios did appear to have some regrets after being caught short by the pesky spider bite that sabotaged his already light pre-season.

"I think it (preparation) just fell down for me in the off-season when I didn't really hit much," he said.

"It's tough to come back and play this level of tennis not really hitting and getting my iron (strength) from the back of the court at all."

Kyrgios may not get the quality court time he craves before his Melbourne assault.

His next scheduled stop is the hit and giggle Sydney FAST4 Showdown from January 7 before the serious business of the Australian Open starts a week later.

AAP


AAP




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