Nick Kyrgios has earned victories against each member of the Big Three, lifted six ATP Tour titles and entertained crowds across the world with his entertaining brand of tennis.
ATPTour.com looks at five things you should know about the 24-year-old.
1) He Is A Big Match Player
It’s simple: Kyrgios raises his level against the elite on the ATP Tour.
The Aussie owns a combined 5-5 record against the Top 2 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings: Novak Djokovic (2-0) and Rafael Nadal (3-5). Kyrgios claimed straight-sets victories in each of his 2017 encounters against Djokovic, and he has beaten Nadal at 2014 Wimbledon, 2017 Cincinnati and 2019 Acapulco.
“I love going out and playing the big matches,” said Kyrgios after saving three match points to beat Nadal at 2019 Acapulco. “It’s one of the best atmospheres that I’ve ever played in. You could tell the crowd was loving every minute of that match. That’s what we play for… It’s a match I will never forget.”
2) Kyrgios = Hot Shots
With tweeners, no-look shots and underarm serves in his bag of tricks, Kyrgios’ unpredictable style can often disrupt his opponent’s rhythm.
As Kyrgios’ rivals attempt to solve the puzzle he presents, fans fill the stands to witness his exciting brand of tennis. Kyrgios can also count on the support of Andy Murray, who shared his admiration of the Aussie’s game in Washington last year.
“He has an exciting game, a big personality and he’s different,” said Murray. “People enjoy watching that. I enjoy watching that. His match with Rafa at Wimbledon [in 2019] was one of the best matches of the tournament. That’s really good for tennis.”
3) His Charity Work Provides Purpose
Kyrgios is keen to use his talent to give back to the community. In 2017, the 6’4” right-hander launched the NK Foundation, which aims to offer sporting opportunities to underprivileged youths.
The foundation aims to build a centre in Melbourne that will feature four tennis courts, two basketball courts, a gym, a swimming pool and 10 self-contained dormitory facilities. The project was supported by the ATP ACES For Charity grant programme in 2018.
ATP ACES For Charity: Kyrgios
4) He Helped Inspire Bushfire Relief Fundraising Efforts
At the start of the 2020 ATP Tour season, while Australia was suffering from the effects of widespread bushfires, Kyrgios pledged to donate AUD $200 for every ace he served during his appearances at Australian summer events.
The charitable gesture inspired a number of fellow players to make similar donations, including ATP Cup teammates Alex de Minaur, John Millman and John Peers. Kyrgios also took part in Rally For Relief in the week before the Australian Open, a fundraising event at Rod Laver Arena that helped raise almost AUD $5 million for the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.
5) Basketball Is In His DNA
“I’m LeBron James,” said Kyrgios. “I’m the best basketball player of the tennis players, hence I’m LeBron.”
Boston Celtics fan Kyrgios is often seen wearing NBA jerseys during practice sessions at ATP Tour events and posts about the sport regularly on social media.
When asked to create a fantasy ATP Tour basketball team last year, Kyrgios (Point Guard) selected Jackson Withrow (Shooting Guard), Jack Sock (Small Forward), Gael Monfils (Power Forward) and Reilly Opelka (Centre).