NICK Kyrgios is confident his back is improving after scrambling to a brave five-set Australian Open triumph, revealing he had been inspired by the mid-match sight of close friend Thanasi Kokkinakis’ winning score being flashed up on the scoreboard.
Handicapped by back soreness, Kyrgios was relieved to overcome Argentine Federico Delbonis is a fierce scrap that saw the Australian twice penalised for code of conduct violations.
“Yeah, that was massive,” the Wimbledon quarter-finalist said.
Obviously I haven’t played a lot of competitive tennis in the past couple months due to injury.
“It was really good to get my first win again. It was my first win in 2015, Australian Open.
“I’m really pleased I got through. I’m really happy the way I pulled up, as well.
“I maybe felt pretty nervous out there obviously. A lot of expectation.
“I didn’t really have much confidence. You know, I haven’t played a lot of matches. Haven’t won a lot of matches in the last couple months.
Asked about Kokkinakis, he said: “I’m proud of Thanasi because he’s dealing with things as well. That’s a massive win for him. That’s his first I guess nearly top 10 win, so I’m happy for him.
Inspired by the earlier wins of Kokkinakis, Sam Groth, Marinko Matosevic, James Duckworth and Bernard Tomic, Kyrgios book ended one of Australia’s best opening days in recent years.