One year ago, Nick Kyrgios played Andy Murray at the Fever-Tree Championships. This year, the Aussie is cheering for his friend, as the former World No. 1 is making his return from hip surgery on the doubles court alongside Feliciano Lopez.
“It’s great to see him back. I think results don’t matter. Just to see him back healthy and seeing him happy on court is all that matters,” Kyrgios said. “He’s actually the first person I saw yesterday on the court doing doubles drills, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
Murray last competed at the Australian Open before undergoing right hip resurfacing surgery on 28 January. The Scot did not know if he’d ever be able to return, but he is back on The Queen’s Club grass, where he has captured five singles titles.
“[It’s] unbelievable. He’s a warrior. I hit with him a couple times in London, obviously when I took a spell from the French,” said Kyrgios, who was forced to withdraw from Roland Garros due to a stomach bug. “He’s still hitting the ball unbelievable. I think he’s good enough to do damage in any doubles [match made up] of any players, especially this week with Feliciano. I’d almost pay to watch that match. They’re going to be tough to beat. He’s a legend.”
Kyrgios, currently No. 39 in the ATP Rankings, is trying to get back on track himself having lost four of his past five matches. At last week’s MercedesCup, the Aussie fell in the first round to eventual champion Matteo Berrettini.
“It’s been good [preparation]. Obviously didn’t get too many matches last week in Stuttgart, but I lost to the eventual winner,” Kyrgios said. “Played a bit of dubs last week and got here and had a hit. Have been feeling good. This is probably my favourite time of the year. Obviously the Aussie summer is pretty good, but just being in London when the weather is like this is pretty hard to beat. Just playing on grass every day, it’s a lot of fun.”
Kyrgios made the semi-finals at The Queen’s Club last year, and he has long enjoyed success on grass, beating Rafael Nadal en route to the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2014 when he was just 19.
“I definitely feel like I can do damage. I have had a lot of good wins on grass,” Kyrgios said. “Obviously made a quarter-final run [at Wimbledon] when I was a little bit younger, but I think if the stars align, for sure I can do damage there.”
The 24-year-old is staying in the present though, only worrying about the challenges in front of him at The Queen’s Club. In the first round, he faces Adrian Mannarino, who lifted his maiden ATP Tour trophy on Sunday at the Libema Open.
“I’ve got a tough match tomorrow against a guy who won a title yesterday,” Kyrgios said. “I want to have a good week here, find my feet.”