Aussie conditions big advantage for Krygios
NICK Kyrgios' liking for Aussie conditions are capable of setting him for a return to the top 20 next year, former world No.3 Grigor Dimitrov says.
Dimitrov, who is soon to arrive from California as sixth seed for next week's Brisbane International, knows all too well the ups and downs of tennis fortune which Kyrgios has experienced this year with a ranking drop from No.21 to No.35.
Dimitrov, ranked No.19, and Kyrgios have the talent to challenge for more ATP titles and greater exposure in the late rounds of Grand Slams.
Kyrgios won the Brisbane International, his first home-soil title, last summer after a three-set semi-final against Dimitrov.
Dimitrov was too seasoned for him in a four-set rematch two weeks later in the third round of the Australian Open, but the rest of the year did not go according to aspirations for either man.
"I think he will (have a better year),'' Dimitrov said.
"Sometimes you have to take a couple of steps back to appreciate things.
"What a great start to the year it is for him to be in Australia.
"He has played some of his best tennis there. I played him last year twice, back-to-back.
"Playing well in Australia can prepare him to potentially have a better year.
"The rest, it's up to him. It's in his head how he is going to position himself and then it's a matter of if he is injury free. He has all the tools for him to be even better than his best ranking (No.13 in 2016).''
Dimitrov, 27, made the top 10 in 2014, in which he made a Wimbledon semi-final, but fell outside the top 30 in 2016.
Meanwhile, Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis will end a year in which he beat Roger Federer by playing qualifying for the Brisbane International.
The three main draw wildcards for the tournament, which will start on Monday, were awarded by Tennis Australia selectors to Alex Bolt (ranked No.158), 2017 French Open junior winner Alexei Popyrin (151) and Australian Open wildcard playoffs winner James Duckworth (241).
An additional wildcard became available when Brisbane's Jason Kubler handed back his entry for his hometown tournament after having to restrict training because of knee trouble.
Popyrin, 19, is a sound investment in the future, but the other two men are older than Kokkinakis, 22, and Bolt, 25, is marginally lower in the rankings than the South Australian's No.150.
Kokkinakis trained at the Queensland Tennis Centre on Wednesday.