Having made a name for himself as the bad boy of tennis, Nick Kyrgios has opened up about the string of selfless acts which changed his reputation for the better.
Australia suffered through one of its worst ever bushfire seasons on record at the start of the year only for the coronavirus pandemic to hit soon after.
Kyrgios, who hails from Canberra, took it upon himself to use his wealth to help those struggling to get by.
The word no. 44 spent $8,000 on groceries, hand-delivering much needed food and supplies to families unable to leave their homes during the pandemic.
On top of this, the 25-year-old raised tens of thousands of dollars to help those affected by the catastrophic bushfires.
Looking back on his past year in the spotlight, a more settled Kyrgios revealed that being at his family home with his new girlfriend Chiara Passari is where he’d like to stay.
Australian tennis champion Nick Kyrgios opened up to Stellar Magazine about his time in the spotlight and how he used his wealth and fame for good
The 25-year-old said he enjoys the simple things in life like staying at home with his family and new girlfriend Chiara Passari (pictured together)
When the global health crisis ramped up in Australia in April, Kyrgios put a call out on social media offering to deliver any food to those in need.
This then led to an $8,000 trip to the grocery store with the tennis star telling Stellar Magazine he had to tell angry shoppers ‘It’s not for me!’.
One resident that left a lasting impact on Kyrgios was a pregnant woman who was unable to leave her children to go shopping.
The 25-year-old said dropping off the groceries to her wasn’t a publicity stunt but that it was simply ‘the right thing to do’.
Back in January when much of Australia was battling the fires, Kyrgios announced he would donate $200 for every ace he hit over the season – which resulted in just over $60,000.
Then at the Rally for Relief Event, Kyrgios along with other tennis stars like Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams, raised almost $5million for the bushfire appeal.
Kyrgios said it was then he started to notice a change in how he was perceived.
‘It’s more that the public in Australia were starting to understand what I was about, rather than just tennis,’ he said.
He also created the NK Foundation, an organisation dedicated to providing sport facilities to underprivileged and disadvantaged kids in Melbourne.
Back in January when much of Australia was battling the fires, Kyrgios announced he would donate $200 for every ace he hit over the season – which resulted in just over $60,000
Kyrgios (pictured with girlfriend) decided to change his whole approach to tennis after falling into a depression
Kyrgios is seen at the Australian Open in January. He is currently ranked world no. 44
Kyrgios has earned millions of dollars throughout his tennis career yet he still sleeps in the same bedroom he grew up in.
He said with constant tours he was often away from his family and the COVID-19 pandemic gave him a chance to stay at home and be with his parents and new partner.
Kyrgios and Ms Passari first shared they were an item in June, following his high-profile split from Russian tennis player Anna Kalinskaya.
The pair have since posted a series of loved up snaps online and are regularly seen out around Canberra arm-in-arm.
While the tennis star has found himself a new happiness being at home with his family and girlfriend, there was a time in his life when he fell into a depression.
‘I felt like no-one wanted to know me as a person, they just wanted to get a hold of me as a tennis player and use me. I didn’t feel like I could trust anyone. It was a lonely, dark place. And things came from that,’ Kyrgios said.
He’d lost his passion for tennis and said he was constantly afraid of letting those around him down.
Kyrgios has earned millions of dollars throughout his tennis career yet he still sleeps in the same bedroom he grew up in
Kyrgios and Ms Passari first shared they were an item in June and regularly share loved up snaps of each other
He then decided to take an entirely different approach to the sport, firing his old management team and hiring his best friend instead.
The new changes also meant Kyrgios would act as his own coach and would determine his own training schedule.
In response to criticism for his loud and expletive-laden outbursts on the court, the athlete said he’s reached a place wherewhat anyone thinks of me’.
‘I know my tennis career will come to an end, and I’m OK with that. I’m not going to say I could have worked harder, played more tournaments, done this or that. I love being at home with my family and my girlfriend, and working with my foundation and helping the community. There are plenty of other things I love doing,’ he said.
Kyrgios will next take to the court during the Australian Open in January if the event is able to go ahead.
Kyrgios made a name for himself after having regular outbursts and swearing at umpires but his passion to help those around him has changed his reputation