He might have a reputation as a bad boy but Nick Kyrgios played a different role at the Queensland Tennis Centre on Wednesday.
Kyrgios turned mentor for Australian import Ajla Tomljanovic as the Croatian-born player ramped up her preparations for the Brisbane International starting on Sunday.
The pair – who are rumoured to be dating – shared plenty of laughs during the brief session.
Tomljanovic said Kyrgios was a good friend and brought out the best in her game when they had a hit together.
“He hits the ball so hard so I’m a little more alert when I’m with him,” the Brisbane-based Tomljanovic said.
“It definitely helps me for sure.
“He says a couple of things he sees … he picks up things a lot quicker than I do so, yeah, it’s only positive when he has something to say.”
Kyrgios is unlikely to stay in Brisbane much longer however, with his summer to start at the Hopman Cup mixed teams event in Perth on Sunday as he teams with new Australian citizen Daria Gavrilova against Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Sabine Lisicki on day one.
His appearance at Tomljanovic’s side though is sure to win him some fans in Queensland after the Brisbane-based 22-year-old grabbed headlines with her display’s at last summer’s Brisbane International.
Dubbed Aussie Ajla by the local media after being granted a wildcard for the tournament Tomljanovic then beat former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic in straight sets before bowing out in the second round.
That was a springboard to a summer where she broke into the world top 50 and reached a career-high ranking of 47 in February.
Now the world No.65 is eagerly anticipating another summer Down Under.
“I feel really hungry to get out there and play some matches,” she said.
“It’s been a long pre-season, haven’t played since Beijing (in October). It’s always nice to start the first tournament at home.”