If there’s anything faster, flashier or more exciting than Nick Kyrgios on court, it’s his rise up the ranks. The 2013 Australian Open boys’ champion made a stunning Wimbledon debut in 2014, saving nine match points against Richard Gasquet before his fourth round upset of Rafael Nadal. With another big run at Australian Open 2015 he became the first man since Roger Federer to reach two major quarterfinals as a teen. Now ranked No.17, Kyrgios has won three titles, has seven career wins over top five opponents and at age 22, is still rising fast.
One of the game’s biggest personalities might have pursued another sport, the teenage Kyrgios choosing tennis over basketball. ‘Team’ still means everything to Nick, who especially loves time spent with his family – parents George and Nil, brother Christos and sister Halimah – at home in Canberra. He’s also developed many close friendships on tour, including one with Team World colleague Jack Sock. A huge NBA fan, Kyrgios’ favourite team is the Boston Celtics.
Even with an absence of titles entering the US Open, it has been a year of growth for Kyrgios. A game built around power and precision now has even more punch with an increasingly powerful second serve. Most impressive is the growing maturity that boosted Kyrgios’ ability to bounce back. Despite struggling at times with injuries, he recorded multiple upsets of Novak Djokovic, pushed Federer to three hard-fought sets in the Miami semifinals and upset Nadal, again, en route to his first Masters final in Cincinnati. The top-ranked Australian and influential in the nation’s return to Davis Cup heights, Kyrgios especially thrives in a team event; anything seems possible as he targets another high at the Laver Cup.
SF: Miami, Marseille, Acapulco
QF: Indian Wells