Philippoussis urges Kyrgios to grind in Challengers for a comeback

Tuesday, 09 July 2024 at 22:00
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Mark Philippoussis advised Nick Kyrgios on his return to tennis, telling him he must "put in the effort" and play lower-level tournaments with fewer spectators if he wants to get back to the top level.
The 2022 Wimbledon runner-up has been away from top-level tournaments for nearly two years. He only made one appearance in the 2023 season and has spent his time in new roles away from the court, including being part of the BBC's expert team at SW19, a task he has done previously as well.

Kyrgios must face Challenger Circuit to regain top form

However, Kyrgios has not ruled out a return to tennis. The 29-year-old Australian has undergone knee and wrist surgeries and hopes to return to tennis despite the long time away and his new projects. Philippoussis advised Kyrgios: “It's very hard. It's incredibly hard physically and emotionally because you got to have that mindset of putting in the work for rehab.”
“You’ve got to work twice as hard to get back from an injury and let's look at the difference,” the Aussie former tennis player added. “I heard Djokovic was doing eight to 12 hours of rehab a day - not one or two. We're talking about the difference with the mentality and the approach and the professionalism and everything that goes along with being one of the greatest of all time in any sport.”
“And that comes down to discipline, and that's the thing with Nick, it's going to be tougher for him to get back because now, not only does he need to get back from his injury,” he continued.
“I thought it was always going to be once he got that first proper injury where things would require this, how's he going to respond? Because discipline comes into effect, daily habits. And now it's about receiving wildcards where he can, but you have to take advantage of that because his ranking's dropped.”
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The 2-time Grand Slam finalist opined that Kyrgios needs to play lower-level tournaments: “Does he have it in his heart to play some Challengers, to grind and play some Challengers? That's a different mentality, to have that discipline to go out where there's 200 people watching in a little town somewhere for a Challenger.”
“It's a different mentality. It's about having a vision of knowing that I've got to do this to get back to where I was. So only time will tell. I'm sure he'll get his wildcards but he needs to take advantage of that,” he added.
“And when you do come back from injury, it's getting your confidence, it's finding your game, it's not going to just click no matter how big your weapons are. It's getting your confidence back, playing those important points, those big points, having the confidence to go for that second serve - and that's going to take time. So we'll see.”

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