Nick Kyrgios recently shared an update on his recovery from career-threatening injuries that have curtailed his return to tennis in 2023.
After a career-best season in 2022 in which he reached a maiden Grand Slam singles final at Wimbledon, Kyrgios has dealt with a spate of injuries this season which have limited him to just a single appearance and that resulted in a straight sets loss to Yibing Wu in Stuttgart.
Since then, he has never been seen around the tennis court on the ATP Tour. But that is expected to change at the weekend, having earned a temporary commentary gig with Tennis Channel for this year's ATP Finals in Turin.
Kyrgios has worked tirelessly to get back to competing on the tour after undergoing knee surgery in January. Later on, he picked up a debilitating wrist injury during the grass swing and revealed that he was still in pain.
After pulling out from a succession of events in the second half of the season, rumors began to circulate that he might consider early retirement. But in a fresh twist, Kyrgios delivered a fresh update to Wide World of Sports mentioning he still has the "hunger and fire" to replicate his exploits from 2022.
"I look at my career and I look back at that year in 2022 and next year I’m still hungry, which is good. I’ve been on the professional tour now for almost 10 years, and to still have that hunger and fire to get back to the top and have a year like that, is always healthy."
"It’s not always natural that someone continually stays hungry and wants to get back there. That’s first and foremost the most important thing. I just want to get my body all right. I want to go out there feeling as if I’m able to compete for Grand Slams again."
Despite his optimistic view in his recovery, Kyrgios fell short of confirming his return date, throwing his Australian Open participation next year in doubt. The 28-year-old stated there is work to be done to attain peak fitness levels, and adds that setbacks during this whole ordeal have delayed his comeback.
"There’s still a lot of work to do. I had some more setbacks after my knee coming back the first time. It was just not where I wanted to be and it was still causing me a lot of pain."
"I’ve been around the world with my rehab, seen some people that I hadn’t seen previously for my knee and getting different opinions. Obviously parts of other parts of my body were starting to feel sore and I was getting a couple of niggles here or there as well. My right wrist type of thing, just because I was compensating."
Kyrgios notes that there has been a substantial improvement since going under the knife to treat a long-term issue with his knee in January. He received severe criticism at first when he pulled out from the Australian Open this year, but his decision was vindicated.
At this point, Kyrgios admits confidence in his body is lacking, but he is working to achieve that. The recipe is to trust the process of working with a team of experts. Even though his body will not be operating as previously, it is still going to "hold up" for the big tournaments.
"From where I was prior to the surgery to now is a big improvement, so I guess that’s all I can kind of focus on at the moment. Just being really diligent with rehab. It’s quite a serious surgery where I just need to take my time. I need to be a bit patient. Just patience was the keyword really."
"Just being able to trust in the process of: ‘OK, your left knee is not gonna feel brand new, but it’s still more than capable of holding up in the Wimbledons and the Australian Opens.’ I just need to trust that and get it to a point where I feel confident again, just confidence in the body is a big thing."