Nick Kyrgios suffered another poor first-round loss at Wimbledon at the hands of Pierre-Hugues Herbert but his love for the sport never wavered as he picked up a £75,000 cheque.
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Kyrgios spent much of the week carrying the burden of a girlfriend who had broken up with him a week before and he was far from his best, the Australian dumped out 6-4, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 31 minutes on Monday night.
But the £75,000 cheque from the St Petersburg tournament in Russia was the highlight for the 20-year-old.
“Obviously it was not the week I wanted. There are a few things going on, a little bit of stuff,” Kyrgios said. “I’ve got no choice. It’s time to compartmentalise. It’s time to stay on the court, because I love what I do. The only thing that ever matters is just winning a match.
“It’s easier said than done but that’s all you can do is be ready and be professional and just go out there and do what you can and try to get a good result. It hasn’t worked so far this week but you’ve got a job to do.”
Kyrgios struggled with the adjustment to his new coach, Patrick Mouratoglou after he split with Tom Fitzgerald. The Frenchman had been with the player for nine years and guided him to the 2014 Wimbledon final.
Kyrgios, who enjoyed his best professional year last year with 10 victories on tour, vowed to enjoy his tennis this year but said he would remain on tour until he makes the decision that it is time to go full-time.
“To play week-in, week-out is too long for me. Last year I was on the tour for 10 months. This year I’m going to try and play 16 or 18 weeks out of 20,” he said. “The business part is what it is. But there’s still a role on the court. I’ve always enjoyed the sport. There’s still a little bit of a chance if I get to a semi-final or final or something to me. But the most important thing is winning a match on the other side of the net.
“I’m going to play a few weeks more and then assess. For me, for my future, I’m not waiting for things to happen. I’m always going to be on tour, playing professionally, until I make a decision.”
Herbert, 26, who reached a career-high world ranking of 11 last year, was then moved into a more unglamorous part of the draw and defied the conditions, not losing a point on serve in the first five games to take a 2-0 lead.
Even with Ernests Gulbis in the run of play, the world No87 refused to buckle.
“It’s always a tricky match for me playing him in the first round,” Herbert said. “We always played very good tennis. There’s so much history there. Obviously he played really well but I felt very good in the end.”