Melbourne: After receiving another on-court rebuke for his behavior at the Shanghai Masters, Australia's Nick Kyrgios is working hard to tone down his antics, according to his great mate Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Kokkinakis, who was implicated in the now infamous on-court spat between Kyrgios and two-time Grand Slam champion Stanislas Wawrinka earlier this year, said his fellow compatriot ready to rid himself of his demonstrative and combative demeanor, which earned him the title of the tour's 'bad boy', reports Xinhua.
"To be fair I've been watching him and he's playing well and he's probably a bit more switched on then I've seen him before," Kokkinakis, 19, said at the launch of the 2016 Australian Open on Tuesday.
"He's not going to change completely and not not get frustrated. But he's toning it down a bit."
However, the behavior that has transformed Kyrgios into tennis' most polarizing figure over the past 12 months was on full display on Monday night in China.
The 20-year-old up-and-comer was called for his second code violation in a week, on this occasion for swearing, in his first round 6-3, 6-2 win over Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer at the Shanghai Masters.
Fairfax Media reported Kyrgios labelled the match as "an absolute circus" with the young gun becoming frustrated with a talkative cameraman - later ejected from the court - and inexperienced ball kids.
Despite the World No. 32 facing a one-month ban if he receives another fine for misconduct, Kokkinakis believes most fans understand and appreciate the drama Kyrgios provides.
"If he yells, breaks racquets whatever, the fans love watching that," said Kokkinakis, Australia's fourth highest ranked player at No. 76.
"Even though it makes headlines, it makes it fun for the fans to watch. It doesn't hurt the game too much."