What Nick Kyrgios needs to do to compete on the ATP Tour

Nick Kyrgios takes a break

Former US Open finalist Greg Rusedski believes Nick Kyrgios would be better off focusing on things that he can control, like his own fitness rather than all the little things that appear to irk the Australian on court.

Kyrgios has admitted that he is struggling with a knee injury and isn’t happy that he is away from his parents at a time when they are both suffering illness.

Still, Kyrgios got some rough treatment in Cincinnati with the crowd not happy with how he capitulated to home hope Taylor Fritz and his generally cantankerous mood on the court.

Kyrgios loudly a frequently complained, at one point being unable to contain a rant on flickering digital screens in the stadium.

“The highest level we play in and you guys can’t get something like that right. It’s embarrassing,” Kyrgios said.

After he dropped an f-bomb in complaining about fans moving about the chair umpire warned Kyrgios that he was flirting with a penalty.

Rusedski believes that Kyrgios needs to get stronger if he is to enjoy sustained success on the ATP Tour.

“You’re worried about the knee physically.

“It’s a lot easier to do on grass courts than hard courts.”

“You can hear the boos around the stadium.

“They don’t feel like he gave it his best effort out there and we’re hoping the knee isn’t too serious but he’s got to show more. He’s improved out of sight but physically he’s got to get stronger.”

Kyrgios claimed his first tour title since 2019 early in the US Open season at the Washington DC stop but has struggled for full fitness since.

He had looked in decent form in Montreal before being outdone by fellow big-hitter Hubert Hurkacz in the last eight.

Kyrgios appears to be delivering diminishing returns as he lost in the second round after an entertaining straight sets win in the opening round against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

That match and his recent excellent run of form might have given ticket-holders they were in for more of a show from Kyrgios.

As he struggled with his knee against Fritz, Kyrgios tried to speed up the game but the American was equal to the task and happy to rattle through games with things going his way.

Having had his own injury worries of late, Fritz was happy to enjoy a break of a day before the second-round match.

“I just focussed on myself,” said Fritz when asked about the speed of Kyrgios’ play in the second set.

“He played with the servers pace… I tried to also play to his pace, if that’s the way he wants to play, it’s fine. I can control the pace on my serve, so all I was thinking was, ‘I’m up a break, just focus.’

“It feels good just to have the rest of the day to kind of relax and focus on the next match.”

Kyrgios has not entered the Winston-Salem Open which precedes the US Open but appears committed to seeing through the final Grand Slam of the year even if he is not at 100 per cent.