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Nick Kyrgios - the executioner of Rafael Nadal

02 July 2014 / 14:07:31  GRReporter
11473 reads

Not many tennis players can boast of winning a set, not to speak of a victory, against two-time champion and world’s top-ranked Rafael Nadal. Yesterday one of them became 19-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios, who even in his first appearance at Wimbledon reached the quarterfinals of the oldest tennis tournament in the world.

Although his name suggests his Greek origin alone, Nick also has roots in Malaysia. Nicholas Hilmy Kyrgios, born 27 April 1995 in the capital of Australia, is the son of a Greek man and a woman from Malaysia. His father George is a house painter and his mother Norlaila a computer engineer. Nick is their third child. His elder brother Christos is a lawyer by profession and his sister Halimah is an actress.

The joy of Nick’s victory was great in Georgani village in the region of Ioannina, which his grandfather Christos Kyrgios and grandmother Spiridoula left in 1960 to go to Australia in search of a better life.

Every second summer they returned to their home village to spend their vacation there. "Nick brought back the smile to us for a while," says Georgina Mayor Anastasios Gousis, while the few remaining residents are talking, in the cafe of the village, about the success of Christos Kyrgios’ grandson.

The village is located about 60 kilometres away from Ioannina and its permanent residents do not exceed 130. In the 1960s, life in the village was particularly difficult and the majority of the people were poor which is why most of them emigrated to other countries and even continents.

An interesting and unknown fact about Nick is that, by the age of 14, he was a promising basketball player. Then subsequently, he decided to quit basketball and turned to the tennis courts. Two years later, he was awarded a full scholarship from the Australian Institute of Sports and he completely devoted himself to his new career.


Photo: Nick Kyrgios’ mother

Nick's first success in tennis came in June 2010 when he won the International Tennis Federation junior title in Fiji. His participations in tournaments became more frequent and he made his Grand Slam debut at the 2011 Australian Open. In 2012, Kyrgios won two junior Grand Slam tournaments and ranked third in the world junior rankings. In 2013 he already topped the rankings after his victory against Wayne Montgomery in the Traralgon International final in Australia. A week later, he participated in the Australian Open for juniors, where he progressed to the final against another Australian tennis player of Greek origin, Thanasis Kokkinakis. Kyrgios won the match as well as his first junior Grand Slam title.

 

He has participated in men’s Grand Slam since 2012 and played in tournaments organized in Australia, Germany, Japan and Slovenia. In early 2013 Kyrgios was number 838 in the world rankings but after his victory against Kokkinakis, at the end of the same year he became number 300. Then subsequently he took part in tournaments from the ATP Challenger Series and the Open Championship of France.

In 2014, Kyrgios took part in the Australian Open, where he won his first round match against Benjamin Becker in four sets. In the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championship, he lost in three sets and then missed several tournaments of the ATP due to an elbow injury.

The big success came in June at Wimbledon, where, after a series of wins in previous rounds, Nick Kyrgios beat Rafael Nadal thus gaining the opportunity to participate in the quarterfinals of the prestigious tournament. Having defeated the world No. 1, Kyrgios is expected to enter the list of the top 100 best players. Here are some of the hits of the debutant that made an impression during the spectacular match.

Tags: SportsTennisWimbledonRafael NadalAustraliaGreek origin
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