SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian world number 13 Nick Kyrgios thinks his ATP-imposed suspension will stand him in good stead when he makes a push for the top 10 next season.
The 21-year-old rose to a career high ranking this year but his tour season ended with a $25,000 fine and a two-month ban from the ATP for not trying in a match at the Shanghai Masters.
The ban was reduced to three weeks after he agreed to see a sports psychologist.
“The ATP wanted me to see a psychologist to help me out and I’ve been doing that,” Kyrgios told Fox Sports after helping the Singapore Slammers to the Indian Premier League Tennis title in Hyderabad on Sunday.
“It’s actually been good, just relaxing a little bit, spending more time with my family and my girlfriend as well.
“So the suspension, one way to look at it, is getting more time off with the people you love and I’ve been training as well, so it’s set me up in good stead for 2017.
“Obviously I wouldn’t have wanted to get suspended but it gave me time to think about and analyze what I’ve got to get better at.”
The tempestuous Kyrgios, Australia’s brightest hope of a men’s grand slam champion since Lleyton Hewitt, clinched his first three titles this year in Atlanta, Marseille and Tokyo.
He also dubbed his effort losing to Andy Murray at Wimbledon as “pretty pathetic”, however, and withdrew himself from contention for the Olympics after a public slanging match with Australia’s team leader for the Rio Games.
A week after his Tokyo triumph, he clashed with fans as well as the chair umpire at the Shanghai Masters and walked off court midway through a point against Mischa Zverev.
“It’s been a rollercoaster, we had a lot of highs, a lot of lows,” Kyrgios added.
“But ultimately, my ranking jumped from about 30 to 13, so that’s a successful year.
“I’ve got a couple of guys in my team who hopefully can help me push for that top 10 spot next year.
“It was a fun year. I did a lot of fun things. I got Australia back in the world group of the Davis Cup, won a couple of titles, so it’s been a good year so hopefully I can back it up in 2017.”
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Amlan Chakraborty)