Nick Kyrgios says "he's more motivated than ever" ahead of Davis Cup

Nick Kyrgios says "he's more motivated than ever" ahead of Davis Cup

The divisive Australian reached the semifinals at the Miami Open and is raring to go ahead of his country's Davis Cup showdown with the USA.

Craig Vickers

The Australian Nick Kyrgios says he’s “in the best place he’s ever been” mentally ahead of his nation’s Davis Cup clash with USA this weekend.

The 21-year-old has drawn criticism in the past for his on-court antics, chief among them John McEnroe, but has begun to find his groove in recent months.

He was forced to withdraw at Indian Wells because of a stomach bug before his quarterfinal clash with the eventual champion Roger Federer but returned to produce a semifinal performance in Key Biscayne.

He was unfortunate not to condemn Federer to only his second loss of the year when he took the former world number one to a deciding set tie-break in the last four.

Penny has dropped

He was commanding through four rounds at the Miami Open before running into Federer and has drew praise for a visible shift in mentality.

“I think my level's always been there but I think where I'm at mentally at the moment, I'm just competing for every point and playing hard and I haven't really had that mindset before,” he told reporters in Australia.

“I'm feeling motivated and I want to get out there more. I want to compete and I want to play.

“I'm probably in the best place I've ever been in.”

Kyrgios in action at the Miami Open (Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images North America)

Improved results

Indeed, since his shock round two loss to the Italian Andrea Seppi at the Australian Open Kyrgios has appeared rejuvenated.

He has twice downed the world number two Novak Djokovic – in Acapulco and Indian Wells – and kept his cool despite a feverish partisan crowd against Federer in Miami.

The hard court season is not behind Kyrgios yet with Australia’s tie to be played in Brisbane.

He added: “I prefer the team environment, I love being around these guys, I love training with them and I love being on the sidelines watching them compete.”