A mentally refreshed Nick Kyrgios is excited by his brutal Australian Open draw, confident he can rise to the occasion of a blockbuster first-round clash with former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic.
Unseeded at a grand slam for the first time since the 2015 US Open, Kyrgios faces a perilous path with 16th seed Raonic, 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka and world No.4 Alexander Zverev lying in wait even before the quarter-finals.
The 23-year-old's preparation has also been far from ideal.
Having spent Christmas in hospital after being bitten by a spider, his Brisbane International title defence was cut short in the second round by Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
An undaunted Kyrgios - whose proven ability to beat the world's best players has often been matched by a lack of focus against lesser opponents - believes Tuesday's clash might be just the start he needs at Melbourne Park.
"I'm very excited just to be out here in the Aussie summer in front of the home crowd, to play a tough opponent," he said.
"I can see it as a good thing. I have to be locked in from the get-go.
"He's an unbelievable player. I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Kyrgios, who has been open about struggling with his mental health, alluded to "pretty personal stuff" that had led him last year to seek professional help.
He said he would go into the first major of the season feeling mentally recharged after spending much-needed time at home.
"I was on the road for almost six months. That was tough for me," Kyrgios said.
"The off-season, being in Canberra at home was unbelievable. To spend time with family - I hadn't seen my sister in a while and she was back home. Just spending time with family, friends, taking time away from the sport, I think, mentally recharged me a lot."
Kyrgios and Raonic have split the honours from their six previous meetings, including the Canadian's 2014 quarter-final victory at Wimbledon.
With both men possessing huge serves, Kyrgios was anticipating a slugfest.
"I may not even get a look on his serve," he said.
"I know I have to compete for every point on his service games, try to make him as uncomfortable as possible.
"It's a match where we're both going to try to keep it on each other's racquets."
Australian Associated Press