Kyrgios ready to sacrifice doubles defence

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With his eyes fixed on a breakthrough singles Slam on home soil, Nick Kyrgios is prepared to let his Australian Open doubles title defence with Thanasi Kokkinakis fall by the wayside if needed.

The Australian duo have registered to defend their title, claimed after a rollicking campaign that reinvigorated doubles’ profile at Melbourne Park last January.

But Kyrgios is now a genuine singles contender, who is also coming off a limited preparation, while Kokkinakis is on the up after overcoming his horror injury run.

It means doubles is now an afterthought for the charismatic pair.

“Definitely I think from both parties. If he’s going deep as well, which he’s more than capable of doing I think that we’re gonna have to,” Kyrgios told reporters on Thursday.

“We’re singles players at heart and the doubles Grand Slam last year was just a flash in the pan, how we were able to do that.

“We haven’t had one conversation about doubles yet, about like how we’re going to approach it or anything.

“We’re just going to go in it, have some fun. If we play, we play. If we don’t, we don’t.”

Kyrgios’ lead-in has been limited by left knee and ankle injuries.

The 27-year-old was an 11th-hour scratching from Australia’s United Cup team and also withdrew from the Adelaide International 2 event but is confident his body can hold up for at least his singles campaign.

“My knee’s feeling good. My ankle’s feeling good. My body’s feeling honestly pretty good,” he said.

“I don’t think anyone’s feeling 100%.

“Obviously with a couple of people pulling out already and a couple of people in doubt, it’s normal around this time of the year for everyone to be battling with some injuries, but that’s all good.”

Kyrgios’ mental health struggles were again laid bare in the new Netflix ‘Break Point’ series.

He hoped the behind-the-scenes series would give an insight into just how gruelling the tour is mentally and physically, citing world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz’s injury-enforced withdrawal from the Australian Open.

“The rigours of the tennis tour – you’ve got our No. 1 player in the world can’t even play because he’s injured because how gruelling the schedule is,” he said.

“Hopefully this documentary for everyone involved in tennis is big.”

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