Tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios was a walking PR disaster last year.
But the new and improved version is on track to become a grand slam force in 2016 if his Hopman Cup heroics are anything to go by.
Kyrgios showcased his undoubted potential by winning all four of his singles matches at the mixed-teams event, combining with Daria Gavrilova to power Australia Green to the Hopman Cup crown.
His list of victims included world No.2 Andy Murray, emerging teen star Alexander Zverev, and former world No.13 Alexander Dolgopolov.
Kyrgios’ powerful serve and improved court coverage were crucial in his success.
And it seems his off-court work ethic has also elevated to a new level.
While most players would crack open the champagne after snaring a title win, Kyrgios had a unique way to celebrate his Hopman Cup success.
“I’m actually going to go out on centre court now and hit some more balls. That’s my celebration,” Kyrgios said.
“It’s my job. It’s my life.
“I mean my game can always get better. There’s always things I need to improve on.
“You can never be too ready, I feel, for a grand slam.
“I’m nervous, I’m excited.
“I don’t really know how much or how little to do. I’m just going to get out there and practice a bit more.”
Kyrgios copped widespread criticism last year for his “banged your girlfriend” sledge towards Stan Wawrinka.
The 20-year-old now has the chance to show the world he’s turned over a new leaf, and his well-mannered display at the Hopman Cup was a good starting point.
Kyrgios will now compete in the Fast4 Tennis event in Sydney on Monday, before heading to Melbourne for the Kooyong Classic.
The world No.30 is confident he can cause some damage at the Australian Open.
“I feel like I play my best tennis on big stages,” Kyrgios said.
“If I’m serving well and playing the right game style, I think I’ve got a good chance.”
While the hype surrounding Kyrgios continues to grow, fellow Australian Bernard Tomic is also shaping as a force in 2016.
“He’s one of the most talented players on the tour,” Kyrgios said.
“He’s only working harder, and he’s only getting smarter.
“I think in the next couple of months, his game is going to go to a new level.
“I think he’s going to go to the top 10 potentially. He’s got the game.”
Kyrgios teamed with Gavrilova to beat Ukraine 2-0 in the Hopman Cup final, ending Australia’s 17-year title drought.
Australia’s only previous Hopman Cup title came back in 1999, when Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic took out the crown.
Kyrgios dedicated the 2016 title to late coach Darren Tandy, who died of colon cancer last month.
A total of 96,146 fans attended the tournament, up from last year’s figure of 95,742.