Kyrgios brings his talent back to Brisbane
THE last time Nick Kyrgios played in Brisbane he was 17 and ranked No.838 in the world.
Kyrgios will return to Pat Rafter Arena as the world No.16, the highest-ranked player in Australia's Davis Cup quarter-final against the United States next week.
The 21-year-old will head to Brisbane with an Australian team missing Bernard Tomic, knowing their most likely route to victory is for him to win both his singles matches.
Kyrgios kept his composure for a three-set win yesterday over Ivo Karlovic at the ATP Miami tournament when the often volatile Australian was frustrated by the big-hitting game style of his opponent.
"Most Queenslanders probably haven't had the chance to watch Nick live, so they should come along and see just how good this kid is," Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt said.
"We'll be relying on him heavily to get us through.
"He's an exceptional talent. He's coming off back-to-back wins over Novak Djokovic and I firmly believe he can be the leader of this team for many years to come."
Kyrgios has played the Brisbane International once, losing in the first round of qualifying in 2013. He was given a main draw wildcard into the 2014 event, but had to withdraw due to injury. He has instead played the Hopman Cup in Perth each year since.
The 21-year-old last week credited the Australian Davis Cup team for helping him out of a "dark place" after his Australian Open exit in January.
Kyrgios even raised a smile to a remark from a spectator after winning the first point of a tense third-set tiebreak yesterday before winning his third-round match against Karlovic 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-2) to book a fourth-round match against world No.12 David Goffin.
"Mentally I think I'm in a really good spot," Kyrgios said. "You can tell by the way I'm competing.
"I've got Davis Cup next week and then I have a week off. I'm not trying to get too far ahead of myself. I've been playing really well the last couple of weeks and I'm backing myself under pressure."
Australia's No.2 singles player Jordan Thompson, ranked No.79, would do well to win either of his matches against an American team likely to bring four top-30 singles players.
John Peers and Sam Groth will make up Australia's doubles team.