Nick Kyrgios, undoubtedly one of modern tennis’s most controversial figures, says he’s not really bothered what people think of him.
Despite the clear talent displayed by the Australian, his tennis ability is too-often overshadowed by frequent disruptive on-court behaviour with both umpires and opponents.
Behaviour, incidentally, which has won him record ATP fines over the years.
And it’s not only on-court that Kyrgios raises eyebrows. His outspoken opinions and comments in press interviews and on his social media accounts also regularly land him in hot water off-court too.
But if you think Nick Kyrgios is affected by other’s options of him, then think again.
“I’ve never been one to crave being liked or anything like that,” Kyrgios told ESPN.
“When I was a young chap, I was always very emotional when I played, and nothing’s really changed,” he admits with a wry smile.
“Whether the perception was they loved me or hated me, my stadiums are always full, TV ratings up.”
Kyrgios, though, was celebrated for his efforts to raise money for those affected by the bush fires in Australia at the start of the year.
Changing his public perception, though, was not his motivation.
“This year with the bushfires, people were losing homes and lives… and so I put that tweet out that I’d donate for every ace, and it went out throughout Australia and then globally.
“I’m not looking for the media attention doing that stuff, I just realised we could help.
“In Canberra, we had the most toxic air in the world at one stage [due to the bushfires], and we couldn’t really go outside. It wasn’t pleasant.
I’ve definitely felt the public perception warm to me a little more, but it didn’t drive me to do these things.”
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