Kyrgios praises new coach Grosjean

Australian talent is enjoying working with Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean.

Paris, France, 31 May 2017 | Darren Walton, AAP

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Conceding it is “time to knuckle down”, Nick Kyrgios has credited his new coach Sebastien Grosjean for bringing calm and positivity to the tennis court.

In his first Grand Slam outing with Grosjean in his box, Kyrgios cracked 20 aces and 40 winners to outclass Philipp Kohschreiber 6-3 7-6(4) 6-3 in an impressive start to his French Open campaign.

The youngest player since Roger Federer to progress to quarterfinals at two different Grand Slams, 22-year-old Kyrgios admits he needs a trusted mentor to help him take the next step.

“I definitely knew that to get to maybe top five and to really contend at Slams, I probably needed someone in my corner that could help me at times,” he said of his formal part-time appointment of the Frenchman last month.

“That definitely came from the people around me. They were always telling me and always reminding me that I had potential and I definitely needed someone to help me.

“I just wasn’t ready to have anyone. I was kind of just going with the flow and just taking every day one step at a time, just enjoying it and just trying to play.

“I got to 13 in the world without a coach, which is not too bad, I don’t think.

“It’s time now to knuckle down, I guess. He’s been there and done that.”

A former world No.4 and four-time Grand Slam semifinalist, Grosjean offers Kyrgios focus and direction.

“I was kind of just looking for the right person to guide me and keep me on track,” said the world No.19.

“I feel like my game, I know what to do to win matches. I don’t feel like my level is a problem. It’s more about being consistent and obviously just finding that motivation every day to stand the grind and give 100 per cent.

“He’s the type of guy that cares about my well-being first rather than just tennis results.

“He knows I need my space at times and he knows how to deal with me.”

Kyrgios and Grosjean connected in Florida, where the Australian’s tennis-playing girlfriend Ajla Tomljanovic is based.

“I lived in Boca so when I went there to train, there was not really anyone to train with,” Kyrgios said.

“Then obviously I found out that Seb lived there, and his daughter trained there and obviously I hit with her a couple times and me and Seb hit a couple times. It kind of went from there.

“I thought he was really laid back, he just gave me a couple tips every now and then.

“I just felt comfortable with him around. I didn’t feel like he was trying to get an inroad into my team.

“I didn’t think he saw an opportunity there or anything like that, which for me I instantly thought he’s actually a good guy, a good guy at heart, and he is.”

Kyrgios, who resumes his French Open quest on Thursday against big-serving South African Kevin Anderson, had been flying solo since parting ways with long-time coach Todd Larkham after the 2015 French Open.

“Obviously it’s hard for me when we’re in the practice court having someone in my ear. I haven’t had that for almost three years,” he said.

“To go from one extreme to the other, it’s a slow transition, but I think I’m getting there.”

Grosjean doesn’t need to say too much.

“It’s just positive things,” Kyrgios said. “I tend to be very negative and I play a lot of chats to myself and it’s not really positive chat.

“To just hear a guy in the back of the court just give me some positive things to think about, I get pretty internal at times, and when he’s telling me to focus on things, I kind of just think tactically.

“That’s what I struggle with. So to have him keep reminding me what to do is helping.”

Original author: Leigh Rogers
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