Heartened by "massive improvements" in his injured knee, Nick Kyrgios is relishing a return to Hisense Arena to launch his latest Australian Open title bid.
Australia's highest seed this year, Kyrgios will open against Portugal's world No.81 Gastao Elias on Monday confident his body can go the distance in what is arguably the most gruelling grand slam of the season.
Nick Kyrgios of Australia plays a backhand to Jack Sock of the United States during the men's singles match on day five of the 2017 Hopman Cup at Perth Arena.
The world No.14 has almost completed a course of cortisone and says the knee's "feeling really good".
"I've done four or five treatments on it. Got one more tomorrow," Kyrgios said today.
"Yeah, it's feeling a lot better since I last competed, which was in Perth. So I've had massive improvements in my knee."
Despite having not played an ATP event in more than three months, Kyrgios doesn't feel underdone in any way.
"I'm never been a player to play many tournaments before a grand slam," he said.
"I like to come in pretty fresh. So my expectations are high. I still feel like I can do some major damage and get to the second week and really cause some upsets."
The 21-year-old has become a fan favourite on Melbourne Park's second show court, a far more intimate setting than Rod Laver Arena where he's played a big percentage of his 10 Open matches since winning the junior title in 2013.
"Hisense is one of my favourite courts, if not my favourite," Kyrgios said.
"I feel confident on that court. I love the way it looks. I like the dimensions of it. It's a great serving court. Yeah, I like playing there."
A quarter-finalist in 2015 before falling to Tomas Berdych in a tense third- round affair last year, Kyrgios arrives as a genuine title hope over the coming fortnight, should his knee hold up.
He's excited about being presented with an inviting draw, with fourth-seeded former champion and US Open titleholder Stan Wawrinka the biggest name in his quarter.
"It's very good. Obviously you get rewarded with a good draw the higher your seeding is," Kyrgios said.
"I played well last year. Got my ranking to top 30 in the world. I've been rewarded.
"Saying that, Elias can play some pretty high-level tennis. Everyone in the draw can, can beat anyone on the day.
"I've got to go out there and not expect to win the match. I've got to go out there and just play and we'll see how it goes."