Tennis great Ken Rosewall has cautioned fans against getting over excited about Nick Kyrgios’s hot form at the Hopman Cup “social” event in Perth.
Rosewall can see Kyrgios again going deep at this month’s Australian Open, but is waiting until the temperamental youngster plays under genuine pressure before endorsing the 20-year-old’s apparent new and improved attitude.
After lurching from one controversy to the next in a rollercoaster 2015, Kyrgios insists he has matured and is fully focused on becoming a grand slam force.
The two-time major quarter-finalist has been true to his word in an impressive week at the Hopman Cup, the highlight a straight-sets defeat of world No.2 Andy Murray and subdued celebration.
Rosewall, who has the distinction of being both the youngest and oldest Australian Open men’s singles champion, says he has yet to see any great change in Kyrgios’s on-court conduct.
“He’s only played a bit of social tennis so far,” Rosewall said on Saturday.
“But I think he might have learnt his lesson so let’s hope things will be good from now on.”
Kyrgios and Tomic will both be seeded at Melbourne Park, ensuring they won’t strike a higher-ranked player until at least the third round and Rosewall believes Australia’s two biggest men’s hopes are well capable of a second-week charge.
“The more they win, the more confidence they get,” he said.
“That’s why Bernard has played so well in Brisbane – he’s had a fair bit of tennis – so it will be good to see how he goes in Sydney (this week).
“It’s good for Australian men’s tennis that there’s excitement around these younger guys coming up because I think they’ll feed off each other and try to improve their games.
“And obviously with Bernard playing well and Kyrgios playing well, it gives the other guys coming up behind them that advantage to feed off their success.”
Tomic, three years older than Kyrgios at 23, is set to climb to a fresh career-high of No.17 in the world next week following his run to the Brisbane International semi-finals.
“He’s more confident and I think he’s realised he needs to be more active on the court in reference to his movement,” Rosewall said of the Australian No.1.
“That was one of his drawbacks. But as he’s gotten a bit older, more experienced, I think he’s working harder around the court and that’s going to make him play better.”