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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 31 January 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 31 JANUARY 2015 31 SPORT Kyrgios vows to improve after Murray loss A proud Nick Kyrgios has vowed to strengthen his mental and physical capacity after his thrilling Australian Open campaign was ended by Andy Murray on Tuesday night. Although the teenager failed to take a set off the Scottish champion in his 6-3 7-6 (5) 6-3 defeat, he was far from disgraced in the quarter-final. This was less Kyrgios the showman, more a teenager who showed grit against a top class opponent blessed with grand slam guile. Had the 19-year-old won the second set tie-breaker, it may have been a different story, but Murray magnificently denied him with two beautifully executed topspin lobs. As it was, Kyrgios was lucky to avoid losing the set by virtue of a code violation. Having been fined for an audible obscenity late in the first set, the Australian thumped his racquet into the court after failing to make a return at 5-all in the pivotal tie-breaker. It was hardly forceful, but the racquet cracked and needed replacing. In that situation, it would not have surprised if the umpire had awarded the next point - and hence set - against him. And Kyrgios admitted later he was fortunate. "Bloody oath I was worried," he said. "I tried to play it down. I was like, 'How did it even break?' I'm sure he was thinking that too." At the completion of the Australian Open, Kyrgios will move to a career-high ranking in the top 35. A seeding at the French Open is in the offing. He also pocketed $270,000 for reaching the quarter-finals, a handy pay cheque after staving off a back injury that threatened his place in the tournament. More importantly, Kyrgios believes he managed to cope well with the hype thrust upon him. That is a positive, for it is only going to grow in the coming years if he continues to improve as rapidly as he has in the past year. "Geez, it's just been a rollercoaster the last couple days," he said. "(I've) not been getting much sleep, obviously. It's been a lot of fun, but at the same it's been pretty stressful. "But, you know, I've enjoyed it. I'm just happy … that I got as far as I did." His opponent on Tuesday night, Murray, is well versed in coping with the sort of attention thrust upon Kyrgios. After all, he ended the British drought at Wimbledon dating back to 1937 when successful there two years ago. He implored Australia to al- low Kyrgios the time to mature. "Try not to put too much pressure on him," Murray said. "He needs to be able to mature … and growing up in the spotlight is not easy. He is going to continue to learn and keep getting better." Kyrgios plans to return to Canberra to rest and receive treatment on his back. He is entered to play tournaments in France and in Dubai next month, with an away Davis Cup tie against the Czech Republic scheduled for March. His desire is to improve both mentally and physically, though he showed at this Open that he has already made significant inroads. A year ago he cramped in the second round when leading Benoit Paire by two sets. This time around he finished strongly in two five-set encounters, including his famous victory over Andreas Seppi, the conqueror of Roger Federer. If Kyrgios is seeking an example as to how he can improve, he need look no further than Murray. The former Wimbledon and US Open winner is a physical beast whose strength and court coverage adds greatly to his renowned finesse and craft. Murray also exposed Kyrgios on his forehand return, while he worked him around the court with cleverly executed slice backhands and drop shots. "I was hurting out there, so physicality is a big one," Kyrgios admitted. "My mentality ... I thought I had a couple of dips out there. I need to stay consistent." Source:News.com Nick Kyrgios reacts in the quarter-final match against Andy Murray of Britain at the Australian Open in Melbourne. PHOTO: EPA/MADE NAGI.
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