Focused Kyrgios Happy With His Australian Open Run
A newly-focused Nick Kyrgios left the 2018 Australian Open happy with his overall performance after his fighting four-set loss to Grigor Dimitrov.
The No.3 seed resisted a spirited fightback from Kyrgios to end Australia's singles hopes at Melbourne Park with a 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (7-4) fourth-round win on Sunday night.
Kyrgios was wildly applauded as he left Rod Laver Arena after the intense struggle, in stark contrast to last year's exit when he was booed off court after his controversial second-round loss to Andreas Seppi.
There were occasional signs of Kyrgios' fiery temper, but the hard-fought loss was arguably the most mature display under pressure of his career.
"I just feel like I'm trying to get better," Kyrgios said.
"There were periods where I stepped on the court last year where I was just doing it for the sake of doing it.
"I feel a lot better this time around. Last year I really didn't know what I was going to do after the Australian Open.
"I feel like I have more of a vision and goal for this year. I think I'm in a good head space."
The incredibly tight tussle ended with Dimitrov winning a total of 157 points to Kyrgios' 156.
The combatants embraced warmly at the net after Dimitrov clinched a quarterfinal berth against Briton Kyle Edmund.
"I just told him to believe in himself," Kyrgios revealed.
"Sometimes I think he lacks a bit of belief. But I think he's got the game and he's proved to everyone that he can win one of these slams."
While Kyrgios' Australian summer - that included a win in the Brisbane International final - has him bullish about the year head, it seems finding a coach isn't on the agenda.
"I've lost one match this year, so I'm doing all right," he said.
"I like kind of doing things on my own terms. I just like the freedom."
The 22-year-old will take a few days to relax and recover from the Open before heading into camp for Australia's Davis Cup tie against Germany in Brisbane.