Nishikori rests up for Melbourne
Former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori is nursing a hip problem as he prepares for the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open in Melbourne.
The Japanese has pulled out of an exhibition even in Sydney to rest up for the action at Albert Park, having been hampered by the injury during his 6-2 2-6 6-3 loss to Grigor Dimitrov in the final of the Brisbane international.
Nishikori, is fairly confident, though, that he will be ready to play in Melbourne, telling reporters: "I hurt it during the match in the final. It's not too bad, but obviously I needed some rest.
"It was a really tough tournament, there were five of the top 10 in the tournament."
Meanwhile, home hope Nick Kyrgios is determined to fend off his knee problems to try and make headway at the Australian Open, having reached the quarter-finals in Melbourne two years ago.
The richly-talented 21-year-old announced: "I'm going to lay it all on the line in Melbourne. Whether it hurts or not, I'm going to push it to the limit.
"I'm going to try and leave it all out there and, whether it's hurting or not, it's really not going to affect my game."
Kyrgios is 33/1 to win the Australian Open, with Nishikori priced at 25/1 and five-time runner-up and world number one Andy Murray available at 13/8.
The last Australian to claim the men's singles title on home soil was Mark Edmondson in 1976, with Pat Cash having lost in the final in both 1987 and 1988, while in 2005 Lleyton Hewitt was beaten in four sets in the final by Russian Marat Safin.
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