Nick Kyrgios prepares for Australian Open by launching vicious serve into his friend’s backside

A relaxed Nick Kyrgios has warmed up for his first-round clash by including a young fan in his practice as well as belting a serve into one of his friends.

Just four hours out from the start of his grand slam campaign, Kyrgios was all smiles in the sweltering Melbourne heat as he launched a vicious serve into the backside of one of his friends in front of hundreds of onlookers. A relaxed @NickKyrgios has warmed up for his Open campaign launching a serve into his mate! Ouch. pic.twitter苏州美甲美睫培训学校/a7eNxEsOoE— Michael Chammas (@MichaelChammas) January 18, 2016

Injured Australian tennis player Thanasi Kokkinakis also popped in to watch Kyrgios’ 30-minute hit-out, and is sitting out this year’s Australian Open after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Weighed down by the pressure and expectation in 2015, Kyrgios has returned to Melbourne Park a lot more relaxed and comfortable in his own skin 12 months later.

Kokkinakis, who was invited to watch practice by Kyrgios, will also be in the stands at Hisense Arena for the first-round match against Pablo Carreno Busta on Monday night and also noticed a change in the 20-year-old’s demeanour.

“He said he was hitting out here and I told him I might come have a look,” Kokkinakis said.

“Hopefully he can play well because he’s feeling pretty good so I think he can make a run. I think he’s relaxed. He looks relaxed. If he can find his rhythm he could make a run.”

Kokkinakis will miss Australia’s opening Davis Cup tie but is hopeful of returning in April.

“It’s pretty frustrating being here and not being able to play but I have some off-court stuff I’m doing this week and I’ll watch the boys and try and get them over the line,” he said.

“I think it will really set in when they start playing and I’m watching. It’s been boring for me because I’m doing a lot of rehab, a lot of bike and the same sort of stuff. Hopefully I’ll be back in April and play the remaining three grand slams.”

Clijsters in town

Kim Clijsters has joined the Channel Seven tennis commentary team for the summer but don’t expect her to provide an insight into ex-fiancee Lleyton Hewitt’s final Australian Open campaign.

Clijsters, or Aussie Kim as she is commonly referred to, will provide analysis of matches during this month’s Open. But she will be focusing on the women’s side of the draw and not be covering Hewitt in his 20th and final home grand slam.

However the pair will be colleagues at some point during the tournament, with Hewitt to take up commentary duty with Channel Seven after he is bundled out.

Hewitt will face fellow Australian James Duckworth on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday night.

Over and outta here

Serena Williams cruised through her opening-round match against Italian Camila Giorgi but was in no mood for small talk in her post-match press conference.

While Williams answered all the questions, including a self-grading of “A for effort” in her straight-sets win, the world No.1 called a premature end to the press conference – albeit almost 10 minutes in. “I’m calling it. I’m out,” she said. And sure enough she was.

Fatherly approach

​Novak Djokovic enjoyed an incredible 2015, winning three grand slams in the calendar year that followed the birth of their first child in October, 2014.

But the arrival of his son Stefan did little to ease his dominance in men’s tennis, hinting he may have found a winning formula.

“​Darling I guess we have to make more babies,” Djokovic joked on court following his first-round victory against Hyeon Chung.​ “I’m probably going to [be] criticised for what I said now.”

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