Nick Kyrgios has called on Tennis Australia and players to rally behind firefighters and bushfire victims affected by the ongoing emergency – as he said he enjoyed himself on New Year’s Eve with a few drinks.
The tennis bad boy has begun the new year on a positive note, keen to put a controversy-marred 2019 behind him.
The 24-year-old was in high spirits when he spoke to reporters ahead of Australia’s involvement in the ATP Cup, which begins in Brisbane on Friday.
He even cheekily admitted to having a few New Year’s Eve ‘frothies’ the night before.
Kyrgios later took to Twitter calling Australia’s governing tennis body to organise a charity match for fire-affected communities where homes and lives have been lost and towns wiped off the map.
There was no New Year’s hangover for Nick Kyrgios (pictured on Wednesday), despite admitting to having a few ‘frothies’ to ring in 2020
Some of the world’s biggest tennis stars, including world number one Rafael Nadal are already in the country preparing for this month’s Australian Open.
‘C’mon Tennis Australia, surely we can do a pre exho to raise funds for those affected by the fires?’ Kyrgios tweeted on Wednesday night.
He was inundated with an overwhelming wave of positive support from fans, along with almost 8500 likes and more than 1100 retweets.’
‘Well played, Nick. I’m really pleased you’re pushing the initiative,’ one commented.
Teammate John Millman called it a ‘great shout’ while Esther de Minaur, mother of world No.18 Australian star Alex described it as an ‘awesome thought.’
ATP player rep board director Alexander Inglot was also keen to support the idea.
‘As Australia starts a month where it hosts most of the tennis world, we all including fans should help a host in distress. We can all do something to donate, fundraise, support recovery efforts and volunteer. We can auction, appeal and spread info,’ Inglot tweeted.
The world number 30 took to Twitter later on Wednesday with a brainwave initiative
The bushfire crisis continue to ravage communities in NSW and Victoria, wiping towns off the map. Pictured is Nowra on the NSW south coast on Tuesday
Some fans called on Kyrgios to make it happen while others suggested an auction for players who may not be to attend but are keen to help.
Another fan suggested a showdown between Kyrgios and Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has copped heavy public backlash for his response in the fires.
Daily Mail Australia contacted Tennis Australia, which says it was already looking at ways to help fire-ravaged communities.
‘For weeks we’ve been watching the devastation caused by bushfires across Australia and the people affected are constantly in our thoughts,’ chief executive Craig Tiley said.
‘We want to help these communities in a meaningful way and will announce a number of fund raising and support initiatives that will be rolled out across the ATP Cup, Australian Open and our other events over the coming weeks.
Kyrgios also took to Instagram to show he was keen for a fresh start in 2020.
‘Whether you’ve achieved huge accomplishments or won silent battles, whether you’ve become better or still trying to get better, the new year isn’t a finish line where you need to get it all together. It just means you’ve come this far and you survived despite it all so keep going,’ he wrote.
Kyrgios had few concerns about ongoing injuries – or the huge suspended ban hanging over him this year while speaking to reporters about Australia’s APT Cup Group F battle against Germany, Greece and Canada.
‘I have had no injuries of yet this year,’ Kyrgios quipped.
‘I have had one session; the body held up well.’
Kyrgios is currently preparing for the ATP Cup, which begins in Brisbane on Friday
Having raised eyebrows when he was seen drinking until 11.30pm the night before he lost last year’s second round Wimbledon clash to Rafael Nadal, Kyrgios could have been forgiven for keeping quiet his New Year’s celebrations.
‘I had a couple of frothies last night, I am feeling good,’ he said.
Kyrgios’s on-court behaviour will no doubt also come under scrutiny in Brisbane.
He will start 2020 with a 16-week suspended ban and fine that he copped from ATP officials last year.
Asked if he was in a good space now, Kyrgios shrugged: ‘I mean, it is New Year’s today.
‘I am feeling alright. I feel refreshed.’
The tennis bad boy (pictured) is keen to out a controversy-marred 2019 behind him
The former world No.13 finally got serious, saying the team environment of the ATP Cup would bring out his best.
‘I love being around the boys. I love the team environment,’ he said.
‘I do what I can to get the best out of these boys and I know I have their support – I just go out and bring good energy.
‘And us Aussies we travel throughout the year. I was away for six and a half months (in 2019) so to be able to play in front of our home fans is awesome.’
Kyrgios will be joined by world No.18 Alex de Minaur in the Australian team for the inaugural 24-team APT Cup.