Nick Kyrgios downplays his Australian Open chances after an epic racket smash in defeat

Nick Kyrgios racket smash

Nick Kyrgios has conceded he has limited ambitions at next week’s Australian Open after his defeat against Croatia’s Borna Coric included some angry outbursts.

Making his return to action after almost a year out at the warm-up event at Melbourne Park on Friday, Kyrgios smashed a racket and threw it into a largely empty stand in an incident that could have resulted in severe punishment, but it was his fitness that will be a bigger concern.

He was nursing a knee injury that was affecting his serving and admitted after the match that he may is not in good shape ahead of the first Grand Slam of 2021.

“There’s a massive question mark for me, even if I was completely healthy, (after) not playing in a year,” said Kyrgios.

“It’s not easy to just turn around and prepare for an event just like that. It’s not like a tap.

“I thought I did everything I could this week. I won a couple of matches, I had a lot of court time and practised every day, as well.

“I think I’m ticking the boxes, I think I’m giving myself a chance.”

His 6-3, 6-4 defeat against Coric was laced with some animosity between the two players after Kyrgios played a Croatian rival he labelled as a ‘bonehead’ after he played in Novak Djokovic’s ill-fated Adria Tour event that ended with a glut of players testing positive for Covid-19 last year.

This defeat against Coric came after Kyrgios hit the headlines the day before, as he stormed off the court and called the chair umpire a “smart arse” during his win over Harry Bourchier.

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