Canberra tennis star Nick Kyrgios spends christmas at home with his family in Watson. L-R The Kyrgios family: sister Hali, Nick, dad George, grandfather, Christos, brother Christos, mum Nill, godfather Nick and grandmother Litsa. Photo: Melissa Adams
Canberra star Nick Kyrgios is dreaming of a grand slam wildcard but he traded big serves for slam dunks, lamb souvlaki and family fun on Christmas Day before setting his sights on the Australian Open.
And with a wildcard berth beckoning, the teenager banned himself from tasting his sister's Christmas desserts on Wednesday to ensure he's in peak condition.
Kyrgios will end a rare two-day holiday in Canberra when he flies to Brisbane on Thursday to start his summer of Australian tennis.
Nick Kyrgios plays basketball with his brother Christos. Photo: Melissa Adams
He had Christmas lunch with his family but had minimal time to relax before the Brisbane International starting on Sunday and then targeting entry to the Sydney International and the Australian Open.
The field in Brisbane has been bolstered by the inclusion of Kyrgios' idol and former world No.1 Roger Federer.
But Kyrgios says 12 months of learning, including grand slam appearances at the French and US Opens, and rising more than 650 spots in the world rankings has given him the confidence to beat the best. ''I was at the Brisbane International last year watching so this year I'm excited and nervous, I'm prepping really well and I think I've shown I can step up,'' Kyrgios said.
''Hopefully an Australian Open wildcard might be a bit of a late Christmas present.''
The only reminder of tennis on Christmas was an old-school racquet hanging on the wall while the Kyrgios family ate lunch.
It's usually tradition for the family to roast a lamb on a spit, Kyrgios' favourite meal.
But with a tight travel schedule, Nill and George Kyrgios opted for souvlaki while Hali made dessert and Nick and Christos played basketball in the backyard.
The only problem was that Nick's training diet meant he couldn't eat the cheesecake, pavlova or tiramisu.
''This is my favourite day of the year. Lamb on a spit is the best thing you can possibly have, but it's probably good we didn't have it because I'd eat too much,'' Kyrgios said. ''[Christos] has got me in a couple of computer games, but when it comes to sport I've got him covered.
''I treasure the time I get with my family. It's laid back when I get back here, but I've got to watch what I eat. So there will be no dessert, but that's OK, I ate more than enough last year.''
An elbow injury forced Kyrgios to withdraw from the Australian Open wildcard play-off this month.
The former Daramalan College student is back to full fitness and confident a strong performance in Brisbane can edge him closer to a discretionary Australian Open wildcard. Selectors can choose to grant Kyrgios, 18, entry or he can play in the qualifiers the week before the Australian Open begins in Melbourne next month.
A wildcard would have been the perfect gift under the Christmas tree. Instead he was beaming after unwrapping a new phone and black-diamond stud for his ear.
After his breakout year on the road as a professional, mum Nill was just happy to have her son back in Canberra.
''I love Christmas because everyone is home,'' Nill said.
''They've been generous giving Nick a couple of days and I love it. I drove down to Melbourne to fetch him and bring him home.
''I could just see his face relax when we started to get into Canberra. An hour after we got home three of his best friends were already here. This is home.''