Nick Kyrgios (Getty Images)
Nick Kyrgios emphasized on Friday that he was at peace with himself after a day where both sides of the Aussie’s character were on full display at the ATP and WTA Miami Open.
Hours before impressing Hard Rock Stadium with a ruthless 52-minute demolition of seventh-seeded Andrey Rublev to reach the third round, the enigmatic world number 102 was fined $25,000 by the ATP after a heated loss to Rafa Nadal in Indian Wells earlier this month. .
The 26-year-old Australian was fined $20,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct after throwing his racket near a ball boy and $5,000 for audible obscenity.
Kyrgios, prone to emotional outbursts and controversial actions on the pitch, remains among the sport’s most exciting talents when playing the way he did to knock out the Russian.
Watching American Jenson Brooskby lose the plot on Thursday and similarly throw his racket struck a chord with the Australian star, who next faces Italy’s Fabio Fognini.
“I’m at peace with everything off the pitch,” Kyrgios told AFP afterwards.
“I’m in the right frame of mind. It’s only one game. I was lucky to get through the first round and today I played well.
“I’ve had the greatest pre-season ever. I’ve been training hard and in the best shape I’ve seen in a while. I’m in a better space with my family. I could sum it up to a few of the things.
“I’ve been on tour for nine years. I know some weeks will be amazing and some will be shocking. I’m no longer in this roller coaster life where I really enjoy those highs and almost drown my sorrows with the lows.
“It’s healthier for me.”
Brooksby sparked anger on social media and in some tennis circles after he got angry in a match against Argentinian Federico Coria.
Kyrgios has been there and knows why the American lost his mind.
“I’ve done a lot of things in my life, just like a lot of other people, where you question your decisions. Nobody’s perfect,” Kyrgios said.
“I’m not one to judge anyone’s behavior, but at the same time he’s a young kid and I wasn’t the best role model, but he held himself accountable.
“He knows it wasn’t the right thing to do. I don’t see him having the kind of personality where he’ll just say F you. He didn’t mean it or mean any harm.
“We’ll have to nurture him in our sport. It happens – I’m not saying it’s not a big deal – but I don’t see him doing that anymore.”
For Kyrgios, just being able to smile on a tennis court is enough.
“I’ve dealt with a lot over the past two years,” Kyrgios said of his well-documented struggle with mental health, alcohol and drugs.
“But I don’t stress a lot and I just enjoy my tennis.”
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, second seed Alexander Zverev beat Borna Coric 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The German will then face either Grigor Dimitrov or Mackenzie McDonald.