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No place like home for relaxed Kyrgios

AAP logoAAP 31/12/2016 Justin Chadwick

Tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios will spend more time at home with loved ones in 2017 in a bid to avoid any further meltdowns like the Shanghai Masters tanking debacle.

Kyrgios was banned from the ATP tour in October and ordered to undergo counselling after tanking several points during a listless capitulation to German Mischa Zverev.

The world No.13 says the counselling has helped, and he'll enter the Australian tennis summer refreshed after making the decision to ease back on his workload.

Kyrgios made his return from suspension at the International Premier Tennis League in December, before spending a week in the Bahamas with his girlfriend Ajla Tomljanovic.

Even his training schedule has been more relaxed, giving Kyrgios the chance to recharge mentally ahead of his Australian Open tilt.

Tennis great Roger Federer predicts Kyrgios will crack into the top 10 in 2017 if he is able to stay injury free and largely out of trouble.

But Kyrgios said rankings weren't at the forefront of his thinking, revealing he'll spend more time at home in 2017.

"I've never set a ranking goal," Kyrgios said.

"I just want to stay healthy and be able to play the events I choose and play them well.

"I don't want to have too much of a hectic schedule. I don't want to be that guy travelling to every tournament every week.

"I want to spend as much time as I can with my family and my loved ones."

Kyrgios won three ATP tournaments in 2016, and he's confident he can cause some damage at the grand slams in the coming year.

The 21-year-old is still seeing a counsellor, and hopes it will help him enjoy the life of a professional tennis player.

"Obviously I'm not going to tell you what we talk about. But it's helped me for sure," Kyrgios said.

"I'm just trying to learn a bit more about myself, and figure out ways to enjoy the sport a bit more. And just enjoy the grind of it.

"It's not easy being away from home so much, and going to different places and playing week in, week out.

"So finding strategies to make that easier, and enjoy my time on tour a bit more."

Kyrgios will kick off his summer by teaming with Daria Gavrilova to defend their Hopman Cup crown at Perth Arena.

"Hopefully we can win it. Going back to back would be great," Kyrgios said.

"On paper, I guess we are the favourites. But I'm wary that all the men here can play a very good level of tennis."

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