The Australian, who put on an entertaining cooking demonstration at a Citibank-sponsored tennis dinner before the tournament, cranked up the temperature again on Thursday, beating young Argentinian Sebastian Baez 6: 4 6-0 in just over an hour.
“I’m just excited to be back for this tournament. Several years have passed due to the pandemic (coronavirus) and taking time off to improve your mind and body, “he told reporters after the win.
“My body feels as good as ever. I feel like I’m moving really well and playing. It’s good to be back. “
Kyrgios has in recent years become as famous for his court pranks and outbursts as for his punishing service.
But he said that he has finally relieved of the pain in his left knee that has plagued him for the past year and a half and is in great emotional condition.
When asked what contributed to the improvement in his mindset, he smiled and gestured to Hatzi, who was seated in the front row of the press conference.
“I really fought. I wasn’t happy, ”he said.
“The tennis world wanted me to be a confident player and I tried to be someone I hadn’t been for so many years. It put me in a dark place. I let people down, I had an argument with my family. It was difficult, he said.
“One day I looked in the mirror and said that this is not the type of person I am trying to be. And now I am a completely different person. I feel good in my own skin, I’m not trying to please anyone. I’m not trying to be anyone else.
“I’m Nick Kyrgios and I just go out and play and have a good time and if I win I win and if I lose I lose.
“Life is good.”
When asked how he celebrated the Grand Slam doubles championship he won with childhood friend Thanasi Kokkinakis at the January Australian Open, the 26-year-old said they had taken other paths.
“He was in Melbourne for three days and I took the first flight with my girlfriend and we went back to Sydney.
“I’m an adult, man,” he added with a smile.
Wildcard Kyrgios, who entered Indian Wells, will face the 32nd seeded Argentinian Federico Delbonis on Saturday.