A couple of years ago, if anybody had suggested that Nick Kyrgios would be the voice of reason in world sport, you would have questioned their sanity.
But that’s exactly what’s happened over the past six months, starting with his offer to help those impacted and displaced by the bushfires over summer. He offered to personally deliver meals to those in need.
There was also the calling out of high profile players, such as Novak Djokovic, for not taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously.
The world number 40 was in the mix again yesterday (10 September) at the announcement of the proposed tennis facility at Amaroo with his NK Foundation, which helps disadvantaged kids through participation in sport. He has pledged to deliver programs at the new facility.
The pledge went further than merely offering programs, though. Nick anticipates spending time with tennis-playing kids when he is back in Canberra. In essence, he said he wants to make a difference.
“When I was on tour I always put my hand up to help charities,” Nick said. “I just wanted to help people.”
On the subject of calling out the likes of Djokovic and Boris Becker over COVID-19 breaches, he wasn’t backing down: “I’m trying to hold people accountable. I’m genuinely trying to pull people into line.”
Speaking on world tennis from the unlikely setting of the Amaroo Playing Fields, he ventured into the murky waters of whether the world was ready for major sport again.
“I am back into a routine and training. I am just trying to stay positive. I’m not comfortable going anywhere as it’s not the right time to be playing sport,” he said.
There was also the issue of playing to empty stadiums devoid of crowds.
“I do miss competing,” he conceded, “but I want to do it in front of packed stadiums. I want a crowd. I’m an entertainer.”
He says he would love to play in the Australian Open next year but only if the circumstances were right.
Being back in Canberra at this time of year has become a rarity. He says it’s the first time in seven or eight years. He alluded to the loneliness on tour as he touched on the number of birthdays spent in hotel rooms abroad.
It has been a roller coaster six months but we’re enjoying the contribution of Nick Kyrgios.