Over a fortnight at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Nick Kyrgios proved to the tennis world and perhaps most importantly to himself that he could change.
But it may not even have been changes on the court that sparked his incredible run to the men’s singles final at Wimbledon.
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If anything, it was his exploration, or lack thereof, of virtual worlds that kept him from being his best self.
Kyrgios’ mother, Nill, explained how her son would avoid all forms of tourism on family trips, opting instead to stay indoors and play video games.
“Before, it was so difficult for us to get him to do anything,” Ms Kyrgios told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“He was happy to sit in his room and play video games all the time. His shoulder would hurt from how much he would play.
“In Beijing, we wanted him to walk the Great Wall of China with us. Who wouldn’t, right? But Nick wouldn’t go. He was happy to sit in his room and to order, that’s what worried me.
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“I remember in Canada we said, ‘Let’s go to Niagara Falls.’ He wouldn’t even go there. In fact, I went alone on the tourist bus. Nick wouldn’t want to do those things.
“Wow, there is such a difference now. I see it on his stories. It’s probably the first time he’s been to Big Ben. All the time he’s been in London, he’s gone nowhere.
“Since the Australian Open this year, he started doing certain things. Because now he understands that life doesn’t revolve around tennis. Nobody expects him to be like that. You have to enjoy your life. I’m really happy that he is now.
Moving away from video games isn’t the only major notable change regarding Kyrgios.
Sure, he has his mid-game explosions, but the number of those has dropped significantly.
speaking on The Tennis Podcasthost Catherine Whitaker has revealed how a spectator sledge in his round of 16 match against Stefanos Tsitsipas may also have helped Kyrgios refrain from airing his grievances on the pitch.
“There was a little moment in the fourth set where he started gesturing towards the referee,” Whitaker said.
“Then someone in the crowd yelled ‘Stop moaning’, and it was like he was listening, it was amazing. He yelled it in a real moment of silence too, everyone could hear that. I’m sure Nick Kyrgios would have heard what was said.
Claimed to be moaning from the sidelines, Kyrgios has also made some notable changes to the way he conducts himself at press conferences.
Of course, there was a reporter’s line of questioning about the decision to change into a pair of red shoes and a red cap after his game against Tsitsipas – clothes that go against strict but fine rules. known from Wimbledon – which he clearly didn’t take too kindly to.
But ahead of Sunday’s final against Novak Djokovic, Kyrgios spoke in a truly grateful way as he prepares for a game he admittedly couldn’t have imagined before.
“I never thought I’d be here at all, to be brutally honest with you,” Kyrgios said in a press conference ahead of the final.
“But I’m just super proud and I’m just ready to go. I’m going to give it my all and we’ll see what happens.
“If I lift a Grand Slam trophy, please don’t pressure me to win another one.
“One thing is for sure, whether I win or lose on Sunday, I will be happy.”