Nick Kyrgios says he must begin winning on a more regular basis and start claiming titles if he is to feel the favour of the crowd and not the jeers he experienced in a semifinal loss to Roger Federer in Miami.
The Australian went down 6-7, 7-6, 6-7 to the Swiss great in the second Miami Masters semifinal, a match that will go down as one of the best of the season. Despite the colossal performance from both players, the constant booing and jeering of Kyrgios overshadowed the match.
Showing maturity, Kyrgios did not blame the crowd for the lack of support, instead pointing to his on-court performances as his answer.
"The crowd was obviously on his side and I have to win a little bit more to start getting them on my side," said Kyrgios. "I have got a lot of work to do. I am 16 in the world. There are 15 players better than me.
"Ultimately I think I put in a good performance. I thought the crowd would have enjoyed watching it and people at home would have enjoyed watching it."
Kyrgios lost his cool in the deciding tie-break when a spectator called out during a point he eventually lost, which prompted him to turn and shout "shut the f--- up".
Minutes later, after Federer had dealt the final blow to claim victory, Kyrgios smashed his racquet much to the disapproval of fans.
Despite falling agonizingly short of his maiden Masters 1000 final, Kyrgios has impressed with wins over Ivo Karlovic, David Goffin and Alexander Zverev and believes that his recent run of success can be attributed to an increased level of motivation.
"I have made an effort to try and put in every day," said Kyrgios. "It has not been easy. I feel like my level of tennis has always been high, but mentally I am competing for every point. I showed a lot of fight; that is making the difference."
Kyrgios will be in action in Brisbane next week when Australia host the United States in a Davis Cup quarterfinal.