Kyrgios hoping to keep it positive
Intent on keeping his nose clean, Nick Kyrgios is focused only on his dangerous first-round foe while refusing to delve any deeper into the Australian Open draw.
Hopes are high that the new and improved Kyrgios that has been on display this summer will show up at Melbourne Park for Tuesday's opener against Italian Lorenzo Sonego.
As ever, though, Kyrgios is offering no guarantees.
Australia's only men's seed this year is unsure if he feels any different entering his seventh Open campaign despite uncharacteristically having not put a foot out of line all summer.
Kyrgios remains on a 16-week suspended ban following a series of outbursts last year but the probation period doesn't include the Australian Open, which is run by the grand slam governing body rather than the ATP.
The 24-year-old is still making a concerted effort to stay out of trouble and to let his racquet do the talking - as much as the sport's most combustible talent can.
"I don't know - 2019 was a tough year for me. So many ups and downs. Mentally went through the wars," the one-time Open quarter-finalist said.
"I feel good. I feel like I'm just trying to spread a lot of positive vibes around. That's all I'm trying to do."
Kyrgios has been a crusader for bushfire relief, repeatedly saying he was playing for a greater cause after offering $200 for every ace he delivers this summer.
It's appeared to help the hot-head keep his cool, raising hopes this might be the year he finally makes another deep run in Melbourne.
His only last-eight showing came five years ago when he was still a teenager.
"I'm not looking forward at all. Everyone can play. All these guys can produce tennis on the day," Kyrgios said.
"I'm not even going to think about throughout the draw right now.
"Sonego is a tough competitor."
As Bernard Tomic would testify, having lost to the Italian in the third round of qualifying in Melbourne two years ago, long before Sonego rose to his current standing of No.53 in the world.
"I played him in Cincinnati last year. It was a tough match. Very capable player. Big serve. Loves to hit his forehand," Kyrgios said.
Should he win, Australia's 23rd seed would remain on a fourth-round collision course with world No.1 Rafael Nadal, who also refused to predict how Kyrgios would fare this fortnight.
"Everybody knows who is Kyrgios," Nadal said.
"Everybody knows how big is his talent, how good he is when he wants to play at his best, when he's able to play at his best.
"His chances are always there. He is one of these players that have chances in every tournament that he plays."
© AAP 2020