World No.2 Andy Murray says he’s not expecting any pranks from Australian bad boy Nick Kyrgios when they cross paths at the upcoming Hopman Cup.
Kyrgios and Murray struck up a strong friendship when they teamed for the Singapore Slammers at the recent International Premier Tennis League in Dubai.
Murray is regarded as one of the grumpiest players in men’s tennis because of his reluctance to smile.
But even he was in stitches at Kyrgios’ antics.
A cheeky Kyrgios pretended to be star struck by Murray as he interrupted one of the Scot’s post-match interviews at the IPTL.
Kyrgios playfully touched Murray’s hair and body much to the amusement of the crowd and TV audience.
Murray returned serve a few days later when he gave Kyrgios a new nickname – Box Office – for the Australian’s knack of being the hero and closing out big moments.
The pair enjoyed plenty of laughs during their recent time together, but Murray says it will be all business when they face off against each other at Perth Arena next Wednesday night.
“We were teammates there (in Dubai), and now we’re rivals. So no pranks,” Murray said in Perth on Thursday.
“I like Nick, I always have done.
“I spent a bit more time with him over in Dubai and (we’ve sent) a few messages back and forth since then.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him. I think he’s a young, exciting player to watch.
“He loves playing in Australia. He played some great tennis at the Aussie Open last year and I’m sure he will do the same again this year.”
Before he faces off against Kyrgios, Murray will take on exciting Frenchman Gael Monfils on Monday night in Great Britain’s Hopman Cup opener.
Murray is a four-time losing finalist at the Australian Open, but he hopes the Hopman Cup will give him the best launching pad to break that duck.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic is the hot favourite to win a sixth Australian Open crown, and Murray knows he needs to lift his game if he is to challenge the in-form Serb.
“Novak’s consistency last year – he made the final in every single tournament bar one,” Murray said.
“It’s unbelievable. I need to try to find a way to get closer this year.”
Murray is riding a wave of confidence himself after a year in which he guided Great Britain to the Davis Cup crown.