Tennis superstar Nick Kyrgios has offered a rare insight into his humble beginnings in life and what happens off-court on tour, during an appearance on a friend’s podcast.
Kyrgios, 25, is as much renowned for his enormous talent as he is for his brash nature and on-court attitude which has, rightly or wrongly, landed him in hot water on many occasions.
During his chat with comedian Elliott Loney a relaxed Kyrgios laughed as he told how he once took on Rafael Nadal despite being ‘hungover’ from an enormous night out.
The current world number 40 – who has been stuck at home in Canberra during the COVID-19 lockdown – was also happy to chat about his regular boozy nights out with glamorous women, admitting: ‘I’ve had a beer or two with a fair few WTA players’.
But far from being all about his scandals, Kyrgios offered eye-opening accounts into the struggles he faced to get to where he is – such as regular stays in cheap motels or caravan parks across Australia.
Tennis superstar Nick Kyrgios (pictured sporting a Kobe Bryant jersey at the Australian Open in January) has offered a rare insight into his private life during an appearance on his good friend and comedian Elliot Loney’s podcast
The current world number 40 – who has been stuck at home in Canberra during the COVID-19 lockdown – laughed as he told how he once beat Rafael Nadal ‘hungover’ and also cheekily said that on multiple occasions ‘I’ve had a beer or two with a fair few WTA players’ (He is pictured with former junior tennis player Monique Belovukovic)
Kyrgios praised his family – and in particular his mum, Norlaila – who he said gave up a lot to provide him with all the opportunities they could.
‘I always had an amazing support crew around me. My mum gave up a lot driving me to tournaments around the country,’ Kyrgios recounted.
‘(We were) staying in pretty s**tty hotels, backpackers and caravan parks, but it was all part of the journey.
‘Back then it was just about being with the boys, but I always had a lot of support around me, that’s for sure.’
Kyrgios admitted he had hardly hit a tennis ball during the pandemic lockdown.
He was also upfront about the fact he did not enjoy the training side of professional sport and said winning a grand slam tournament was ‘not his goal’.
‘I don’t believe my body will hold up for seven matches at a grand slam, potentially playing three to four hours (each match),’ he said.
Kyrgios also openly reflected on the fact that throughout his career he had struggled to always pick the right moment to let his hair down.
Kyrgios offered a rare insight into his humble beginnings in life and praised his family, in particular his mother Norlaila (pictured), who he said stayed in many average motels and caravan parks with him as a youngster
‘I always had an amazing support crew around me. My mum gave up a lot driving me to tournaments around the country,’ Kyrgios (pictured as a youngster) recounted
Kyrgios (far left) with his brother Christos (left), father Giorgos (right) and mother Norlaila (far right)
In particular he was asked by Loney about a quarter final clash with Nadal at the 2017 Cincinnati Open in which he defeated the Spanish champion 6-2, 7-5.
‘I’ve always lived by one thing. If I am willing to party and to have a night out with the boys, and I am in tournament mode, I’ll go out, but I have to do something the next day, whether that’s train or do half an hour,’ he said on Loney’s podcast.
‘But that (game against Rafa) was not different.
‘We went out, we had a really great time. I’m pretty sure we went pretty hard.
‘A day and a half later I saw the draw and I was like: “You know I’ve got to play ‘Rafa'”.
‘Nothing changed, I already told you what I think of these players. I don’t give them respect just because of who they are and what they have achieved.’
While he has developed a reputation as a ‘bad boy’, Kyrgios has been widely praised in 2020 for his efforts in raising money for bushfire relief and also by delivering food to those in need throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.
In particular Kyrgios (right) was asked by Loney (left) about a quarter final clash with Nadal at the 2017 Cincinnati Open, which came less than 24 hours after a massive night out together
Despite being ‘hungover’, Kyrgios easily beat Nadal 6-2 7-5 in around one hour and 20 minutes
The tennis star told how during one visit to a hospital with terminally sick children he could make an impact and in doing so ‘feels at his happiest’.
‘I feel I’m very cultured. I might seem a bit immature and like a bit of a joker at times, but I feel like at 25, I’ve seen a lot,’ he said.
‘I’ve been through a lot, I’ve had a lot of experiences, and I actually feel very wise in a lot of things.
‘I don’t think it’s a fact that I’ve changed, I just didn’t really realise the impact I could have.’