Tomic’s absence “strange” – Kyrgios

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    He admits Bernard Tomic’s absence is “strange” but Australian number one Nick Kyrgios likes what he sees from compatriot Alex De Minaur after joining the teenager in the Brisbane International semi-finals.

    Doubts remain over Tomic’s future after he first skipped Brisbane qualifying, missed out on an Australian Open wildcard and was linked to an appearance in Ten Network’s “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!” TV program.

    In contrast, world number 208 De Minaur’s tennis prospects appear bright after snapping up a Brisbane International wildcard and earning a Saturday semi-final showdown with American Ryan Harrison.

    The 18-year-old’s giant killing run includes the scalp of former world number three Milos Raonic.

    Third seed Kyrgios followed him into the final four with a come from behind three set win over Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov on Friday.

    Asked if he thought Tomic would be having any regrets about brushing Brisbane after two Australians made the semis, Kyrgios said: “It was obviously strange not seeing him playing any of these events.

    “This is why we play tennis – to play in our backyard.

    “It’s not like we have to travel long periods of time to get to these tournaments …(and) everyone is behind you.”

    Former world number 17 Tomic – who has plummeted to 140th – has entered next week’s Australian Open qualifying tournament after the wildcard snub.

    Asked if he could give an insight on Tomic, Kyrgios said: “I have no idea.

    “I don’t really know Bernard’s situation at the moment.

    “I don’t talk to him a lot really. I really don’t know but it’s good to see new faces doing well.

    “I love seeing guys like De Min go out there, punching his chest like he does.”

    While surprised not to see Tomic in Brisbane, Kyrgios appeared to be the only one not shocked by De Minaur’s semi-final berth.

    Sydney-born, Spain-based De Minaur booked his first tour semi-final appearance by overcoming American qualifier Michael Mmoh 6-4 6-0.

    “He was probably expected to win today, I thought,” Kyrgios said of De Minaur’s third straight victory in Brisbane after the teenager had previously notched just one ATP main draw victory in his career.

    “And he went out there and got it done pretty easy. I was pretty impressed with it.”

    © AAP 2018

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