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''Maturing'' Nick Kyrgios ready to take Hewitt's crown, says former coach

Nick Kyrgios' former coach Josh Eagle says he is "showing signs of maturing" and his breakthrough win over Andy Murray will give him belief he's ready to assume Lleyton Hewitt's mantle as Australia's leading light. 

Eagle lauded Hewitt, who has mentoring Kyrgios, as the "ideal fit" for the 20-year-old, and being without a coach has helped him stand on his own two feet. 

Nick Kyrgios plays a forehand against Andy Murray.
Nick Kyrgios during his win over Andy Murray at the Hopman Cup. Photo: Getty Images

Hopes Kyrgios can make another inspired run at the Australian Open only magnified after his 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) Hopman Cup win against Murray, his first over the Brit in five attempts. 

The 20-year-old has now beaten Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, with world no.1 Novak Djokovic the only member of the 'big four' he is yet to conquer. 

Former Davis Cup coach Eagle, who coached Kyrgios for much of 2014 including his Wimbledon upset of Nadal, has noticed an improved change in his on-court mindset.

He also looks decidedly fitter than a year ago where back problems ruled him out of lead up events to the Australian Open, where he was beaten by Murray in the quarter finals.   

"I was involved in the International Premier Tennis League with him [with a rival team], over the last couple of months he's shown some signs of maturing," Eagle said.

"I saw firsthand he's working really hard off the court, doing lots of fitness work and in the weight room. 

"His skill level is undeniable, he can hit remarkable shots almost up there with the best of them.  

"It's not the major issue, it's getting himself fit, doing the rehab and prehab so when you're deep in an event, you've got enough energy to win it. 

"He doesn't currently have a coach with him, but he's incredibly self motivated and pushes himself. 

"It's something he probably doesn't get enough recognition for and people keep asking 'when's he going to get a coach?'

"In Asia it was great for Nick to see how those top guys train firsthand, hitting with them and getting better at the two per centers those guys do every day."

"It doesn't bother me he doesn't have a coach. I think it's been a good thing for a certain period he's going it alone," Eagle said. 

"He's starting to work out what he requires and what he's looking for. It almost forces him to look at his own game, become a bit more independent and think for himself." 

Eagle said Hewitt, renowned for his tenacity and competitiveness, is the ideal person to take Kyrgios under his wing. 

Hewitt will retire after the Australian Open and Eagle believes the two-time Grand Slam winner's farewell tour will take pressure off Kyrgios. 

"Nick feels he's someone he can trust and discuss tactics with, I think it's the ideal fit," Eagle said. 

"He looks at Lleyton and sees professionalism and a hard worker, someone who's been no.1 in the world and dealt with the pressure and expectation he's probably feeling. 

"He looks really comfortable at the moment, he seems in a really good head space and confident about his ability."

Eagle warned the public not to get too carried away with the Murray victory, given the Hopman Cup is an exhibition and no ranking points are at stake. 

But he said it would give the world No.30 huge confidence before he heads to Melbourne. 

"When he lost serve after being up a set and a break he kept it together, whereas previously that could have bothered him for a long part of the match," Eagle said. 

"I don't think we need to get up and do a dance about [the result], that's for sure, but it will give him belief he can beat anyone now."