Troubled Australian star Nick Kyrgios rates his rollercoaster year a successful one, despite his 2016 ATP season ending in an on-court meltdown that earned him a tour ban.
As he collected the first three titles of his career, including a maiden ATP 500 series victory in Tokyo, Kyrgios rose to a career-high ranking of No.13 – an effort he looks back on with pride.
“Obviously, we had a lot of highs, a lot of lows,” the 21-year-old — who also said he’d been enjoying working with a sports psychologist — told Fox Sports.
“But ultimately, my ranking jumped from about 30 to 13, so that’s a successful year.
“It was a fun year. I did a lot of fun things. I got Australia back in the world group of the Davis Cup, won a couple of titles, so it’s been a good year.”
Off the back of his enforced extended break, a new conditioning coach and some sessions with a psychologist, Kyrgios has hopes of cracking the top 10 next year.
But he isn’t making that the be-all and end-all of his 2017 campaign.
“Ranking for me’s not the issue, not a goal at all. It’s just staying healthy, being able to play a lot of events,” he said.
Kyrgios’s listless capitulation to German Mischa Zverev at the Shanghai Masters, resulting in an eight-week ATP Tour suspension, added to the list of reputation-lowering incidents he was involved in this year.
He also drew the ire of officials for arguing with chair umpires at the French Open and Wimbledon.
His ban was reduced to three weeks after he agreed to consult a sports psychologist, and he believes his punishment has had benefits.
“I’ve been doing that (seeing a psychologist) and it’s actually been good,” he said.
“Just relaxing a little bit, spending more time with my family, girlfriend as well.
“It’s one way to look at (it), to get more time off with the people that you love, and I’ve been training as well. So it’s set me up in good stead for 2017.
“It just gave me time to think about and analyse everything I’ve got to get better at.”
Coachless Kyrgios said he’d also be open to receiving guidance from former Australian star Mark Philippoussis, who says he’d consider mentoring the young star.
“We’ve got a lot of similarities on the court,” said Kyrgios, whose team Singapore Slammers on Sunday (Monday morning AEDT) retained their International Premier Tennis League title in India.
“He plays big and he’s had a lot of ups and downs in his career as well.
“He’s learnt a lot, he’s a great guy, he’s very caring and always been there for me as well, so maybe.”