Nick Kyrgios stressed on Friday that he’s at peace with himself after a day where both sides of the Australian’s character come into sharp focus at the ATP and WTA Miami Open.
Hours before he wowed Hard Rock Stadium with a ruthless 52-minute 6-3, 6-0 demolition of seventh-ranked Andrey Rublev to reach the third round, the enigmatic world number 102 was fined $25,000 by the ATP following a stormy defeat to Rafael Nadal at Indian Wells earlier this month.
The 26 year-old Aussie was fined $20,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct after hurling his racket near a ball boy and $5,000 for an audible obscenity.
Kyrgios, prone to emotional outbursts and controversial actions on court, remains among the sport’s most exciting talents when he plays as he did to eliminate the Russian.
Watching American Jenson Brooskby lose the plot on Thursday and throw his racket in similar fashion struck a chord with the Australian star, who next faces Italy’s Fabio Fognini.
“I am at peace with everything off the court,” Kyrgios told AFP afterwards.
“I am in the right mindset. It’s just one match. I was lucky to get through the first round and today I played great.
“I’ve had the biggest pre-season ever. I’ve trained hard and in the best shape I’ve been in for a while. I’m in a better space with my family. I could put it down to a few things.
“I’ve been on tour for nine years. I know some weeks will be incredible and some will be shocking. I’m not on that rollercoaster life anymore where I really enjoy those highs and almost drown my sorrows with the lows.
“That’s healthier for me.”
Brooksby sparked anger on social media and in some tennis circles after losing his temper in a match against Argentina’s Federico Coria.
Kyrgios has been there and knows why the American lost his head.
“I’ve done many things in my life just like many other people have where you question your decisions. No one is 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 has held himself accountable.
“He knows it wasn’t the right thing to do. I can’t see him having the kind of personality where he will just say F you. He didn’t mean it or mean any harm.
“We will have to nurture him in our sport. It happens – I’m not saying it’s OK – but I can’t see him doing that again.”
For Kyrgios, just being able to smile on a tennis court is enough.
“I’ve been dealing with a lot of stuff over the last couple of years,” Kyrgios said of his well documented struggle with mental health, alcohol and drugs.
“But I’m not stressing much and just have been enjoying my tennis.”
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, second seed Alexander Zverev beat Borna Coric 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The German will play either Grigor Dimitrov or Mackenzie McDonald next.