Nick Kyrgios makes honest fitness confession as he provides comeback update

Ewan West
Nick Kyrgios during a match
Nick Kyrgios on court

Nick Kyrgios has revealed he is at about “60 or 70%” fitness as he continues to work towards a comeback, with his hopes of competing at the 2024 Australian Open uncertain. 

The Australian declared he still has “a lot of work to do” before he is ready to play, but asserted that he still possesses the “hunger and fire” to return to the top.

Following a career-best season in 2022, Kyrgios has been sidelined through injury this year and lost his only competitive outing of the campaign to Wu Yibing in Stuttgart in June.

The Australian has suffered setbacks after undergoing knee surgery in January and also saw a wrist injury derail his intended comeback during the grass-court season and force him to pull out of Wimbledon following Stuttgart.

Kyrgios compiled an excellent 37-10 (78.7%) match record last year after reaching the Wimbledon final, winning the Washington title and making quarter-finals at the US Open, Indian Wells and the Canadian Open. He also made semi-finals in Houston, Stuttgart and Halle, and earned six top 10 wins.

In an interview with Wide World of Sports, Kyrgios stressed his competitive fire is still burning despite his struggles and highlighted his ambition to fight for Major titles again.

“I look at my career and I look back at that year in 2022 and next year I’m still hungry, which is good. I’ve been on the professional tour now for almost 10 years, and to still have that hunger and fire to get back to the top and have a year like that, is always healthy,” said the 28-year-old.

“It’s not always natural that someone continually stays hungry and wants to get back there. That’s first and foremost the most important thing. I just want to get my body all right. I want to go out there feeling as if I’m able to compete for Grand Slams again.

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“I don’t just wanna participate in tournaments because I definitely do feel like I’m a player who can compete for Grand Slams, so I want to be able to just make sure that I’m coming back with that hunger. Then just my health, I just want to take my time and be healthy and come back and give the people the tennis that I was playing in 2022.

“If I didn’t feel as if I had much left in the tank, I’d probably just hang it up. I still feel as if I’m in some of my physical prime. I feel like my level is still one of the best in the world. So it’s just belief in my game.

“I know what I’m able to do and I’ve got a lot of people around me and close to me that believe in my ability as well and I think that’s super important. I’m just going to take it day by day and just get back to where I was.”

The Aussie did not confirm whether he would be ready to return for his home Grand Slam in January as he also admitted he is currently at “60 or 70%” fitness.

“There’s still a lot of work to do. I had some more setbacks after my knee coming back the first time. It was just not where I wanted to be and it was still causing me a lot of pain,” Kyrgios continued.

“I’ve been around the world with my rehab, seen some people that I hadn’t seen previously for my knee and getting different opinions. Obviously parts of other parts of my body were starting to feel sore and I was getting a couple of niggles here or there as well. My right wrist type of thing, just because I was compensating.

“From where I was prior to the surgery to now is a big improvement, so I guess that’s all I can kind of focus on at the moment. Just being really diligent with rehab. It’s quite a serious surgery where I just need to take my time. I need to be a bit patient. Just patience was the keyword really.

“Just being able to trust in the process of: ‘OK, your left knee is not gonna feel brand new, but it’s still more than capable of holding up in the Wimbledons and the Australian Opens.’ I just need to trust that and get it to a point where I feel confident again, just confidence in the body is a big thing.”

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