Nick Kyrgios: Australian’s ‘tennis relaxes me’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Kyrgios will face first seed Rafael Nadal in his opening match at the Shanghai Masters

Nick Kyrgios says he has “never felt better” and adds another motivational trait to his favourite extracurricular activity.

Australia’s world number 16 says playing tennis helps him relax from “a lot of the mess going on in my life”.

The world number 64 was fined three times in less than a week in August for abusive language at Grand Slams, which he has maintained was his frustration at injuries.

The 26-year-old had nine tattoos dedicated to tennis when he was under contract with Nike in 2014.

He has since gone off the rails and has had a scuffle with a journalist, a fight outside a hotel with a fan and was given an 80-minute time-out after reacting angrily to a line call during his win over Bernard Tomic in Marseille.

“When I’m out on court, I’m just trying to escape the craziness of my life,” he told Tennis magazine.

“If I have a day off, I’ll go home and just chill.

“It helps me relax. Tennis has been the most important thing in my life. Every day that goes by, it gets more and more competitive for me.”

Kyrgios, who entered the Shanghai Masters as the world’s 10th best player, had planned to retire in 2015 after injuring his back but continued playing, with a hip injury that forced him out of Wimbledon this year also reducing his long-term prospects.

“I’m very thankful I had the opportunity to play tennis,” he added.

“It saved my life, and that’s all I’ve got to say.

“Obviously I’ve gone through a lot of stuff in my life, and I’ve worked really hard to get back on the top.

“I know tennis is something that I love, but there are times when I know I’m probably not going to play well or be able to play on that high level and I just get into it.”

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