Roger Federer, who has a realistic chance of retaining the Australian Open title given his opponents’ injury concerns, believes the talented Nick Kyrgios to be a tough challenge. Bookies have handed Kyrgios odds of 16/1, placing the sole Australian seed as the fifth favourite to win the title.
The Australian Open could pan out to be quite simple for defending champion, Roger Federer, as Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori are not participating in the tournament while Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have their respective injury concerns to worry about. Though the World No.2 could, nonetheless, face the likes of Juan Martin del Potro, Alexander Zverev or Stan Wawrinka in the advanced rounds, it is the local
“He's (Kyrgios) going through his things, whatever he needs to go through. But when he's on, he's on and he's really difficult to beat. It seems like he's doing the right things otherwise he wouldn't be winning tournaments, especially not in Brisbane because being able to cope with the pressure at home is not a simple thing," said Federer to the Herald Sun newspaper on Saturday.
Kyrgios has already started 2018 on a stronger note defeating Grigor Dimitrov and Ryan Harrison to claim his fourth ATP World Tour in the Brisbane International, and it is definitely not gone unnoticed by Federer. It is hard to ignore Kyrgios’ talent though, as the 22-year-old is the only player, apart from Lleyton Hewitt, to defeat Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic in their first ATP Head2Head meetings.
However, his inconsistency and questioning devotion to tennis have prevented him from breaking his shackles so far. He had come under criticism following the US Open last year, where he had admitted that he wasn’t as dedicated to the game as other players. It was followed by Kyrgios’ surprising decision to continue training without a coach until he finds a suitable candidate after he parted ways with Frenchman Sebastian Grosjean on a part-time basis last year.
“Similar to my challenge, for him, it's day to day and then week by week, can you keep it up? For me, it's because of me getting older. For him, it's maybe in his mind and his body because he still needs to work much more than he currently is. I think he's incredibly talented," said Federer.
Both Kyrgios and Federer have been pitted against easy opponents - Aljaz Bedene and Rogerio Dutra Silva - respectively. Bookies have put Federer as the clear