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Rosewall's fears for underdone Kyrgios

Tennis great Ken Rosewall has concerns over Nick Kyrgios's ability to go the distance when the heat is on at this month's Australian Open.

Rosewall's fears for underdone Kyrgios

Tennis great Ken Rosewall has concerns over Nick Kyrgios's ability to go the distance when the heat is on at this month's Australian Open.

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

Tennis legend Ken Rosewall fears an underdone Nick Kyrgios looms as Australian Open fodder if the mercury rises as usual for the summer grand slam in Melbourne.

Kyrgios barely picked up a racquet last month, preferring to spend his off-season playing basketball before a Christmas-time spider bite further restricted his court time ahead of a second-round loss in Brisbane this week.


The former Open quarter-finalist won't be seeded in Melbourne for the first time since 2015 but is refusing to panic, maintaining he can challenge any player in the world on his day.

Rosewall, though, believes Australian fans are better off pinning their home hopes on seeded teenage ace Alex de Minaur.

"Alex, he's got a different approach to the game (than Nick)," the eight-times grand slam champion said on Friday.

"He's very competitive, he likes to play well every time he plays. The moment he steps on to the court, he's 100 per cent, whereas Nick seems to have got into the habit where takes things a little bit easier.

"He said himself he hasn't been practising and I think that will show later (in the tournament) if he gets involved in any long matches.

"If he plays in Melbourne and you get (hot) weather like this, best of five sets, even though you might get a day's rest in between matches, I think it's going to affect him.

"He's not going to be playing strongly enough towards the end of the match."

Rosewall still considers Kyrgios "a dangerous floater" but is concerned about the 23-year-old being at the mercy of next Thursday night's draw.

"The worse thing that can happen is if he draws one of the top seeded players in the first round," Rosewall said.

"That's a distinct possibility and that would be bad for him.

"I mean, everyone would like to support Nick more, I think, because people enjoy watching him play with his ability.

"Just sometimes when he doesn't give it 100 per cent effort, he upsets a lot of his fans."

Kyrgios has often complained of home-sickness and is pledging to reduce his schedule in 2019 in order to spend more time with his family in Canberra.

Rosewall, who continued playing into his 40s and spent lengthy stints on tour without his wife and two children, said that might not be a bad idea, though he felt pampered players of the modern era had fewer excuses not to perform.

"A lot of tennis players have chosen to live in America. I never did," Rosewall said.

"Even in the earlier days I was away from my family a lot and, when I got tired, I pulled out of the tour for two weeks and just had a rest.

"You've got to try to plan it a little bit."

AAP


AAP




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