Rafter: Kyrgios needs top five in 2017

By Jack Davies 12 January 2017
Rafter: Kyrgios needs top five in 2017

Pat Rafter believes Nick Kyrgios needs to reach the top five in the men's rankings during the next 12 months if he is to view 2017 as a good year.

Kyrgios currently sits 14th in the world and is a three-time winner on the ATP Tour, although he is yet to make his mark at a grand slam event.

The Australian has not made it beyond the fourth round of a major since the 2015 Australian Open, where he reached a grand slam quarter-final for the second time in his career.

Kyrgios' conduct both on and off the court sees him enjoy greater media attention than his position in the rankings perhaps merits - the likes of David Goffin and Roberto Bautista Agut ahead of him fly under the radar by comparison.

And two-time US Open champion Rafter says it is time for compatriot Kyrgios to justify his share of the spotlight by proving he can cut it with the best.

Asked what would represent a good year for Kyrgios, Rafter told Omnisport: "Top five. In the top five you're vying for grand slams. For me he should be top five."

Rafter feels Kyrgios can count on the full backing of his home crowd when the Australian Open kicks off in Melbourne next week.

"I saw it all the time with [Mark] Philippoussis," he added. "He'd have his good years and bad years, but every time he came back to play in Australia they got behind him and I expect the same with Nick."

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