Aussie firebrand Nick Kyrgios has enjoyed being away from the tennis limelight for the past year, but says he is now ready to resume, beginning in Melbourne next month.

“I have enjoyed being back at home in Canberra. It’s allowed me to spend with my family and friends and get some perspective on things both on and away from the court,” he said.

“We’ve had various lockdowns and some restrictions, but I feel like Australia has managed the COVID situation pretty well so far.

“I’ve given my body a bit of a break, but now I’m back on the court working hard to get ready for the Australian summer.

“I think some players benefit from not having big crowds while others feed off the energy. It’s definitely made a huge difference being able to train and work out in my hometown.

Kyrgios said he having family and friends around kept him in a great frame of mind and he hoped everyone would remain COVID-19 safe in Melbourne.

“There are more important things in the world than tennis,” he said. “I just don’t want the sport to put itself ahead of others’ health. I love playing in front of fans, especially in Melbourne for the Australian Open.

“But I don’t want to be reckless. That said, I know a lot of things are at stake. I’m confident Tennis Australia will take the necessary steps to ensure everyone is safe.

“Whether that be with crowds at the quarter, half, or full capacity. I’m feeling great ahead of the season’s start and ready to go.”