Alex de Minaur, Lleyton Hewitt and Nick Kyrgios ahead of the Davis Cup. Picture: Liam Kidston
Alex de Minaur, Lleyton Hewitt and Nick Kyrgios ahead of the Davis Cup. Picture: Liam Kidston

The real Nick Kyrgios might be a secret sweetheart

NICK Kyrgios is a secret sweetheart.

The 22-year-old tennis ace regularly hits the court with sick kids - even before critical games and despite tournament fatigue. Usually these special moments of giving are kept undercover with no publicity.

The world No.14 is smashing his "bratty" image, showing huge compassion and generosity.

In Brisbane yesterday, following a practice session in readiness for the Davis Cup, he found the time and energy to bond with eight-year-old Christopher Skipper, who is undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

 

Christopher Skipper and Emily Skipper meet Nick Kyrgios in Brisbane yesterday. Picture: Jayden Beville
Christopher Skipper and Emily Skipper meet Nick Kyrgios in Brisbane yesterday. Picture: Jayden Beville

 

"I've always had the motivation to help others. I have always liked to help and I do not expect a pat on the back for that," Kyrgios said.

"I do it because I want to and because I am in the position to do it but never for public recognition."

Camp Quality chief executive Kylea Tink said that for the past couple of years, on the quiet, Kyrgios has been putting smiles on the faces of seriously ill children.

At the Australian Open, young oncology patients were welcomed at the courts.

"Nick Kyrgios has quietly given Camp Quality kids the incredible opportunity to not only meet him but have a hit on the courts.

"We are so grateful for how generously he has given this gift," Ms Tink said.

Meanwhile, Australia's Davis Cup team has swatted away Bernard Tomic's boast that they are today starting a doomed campaign against Germany at Brisbane's Pat Rafter Arena.

Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt intercepted a reporter's question to Nick Kyrgios about Tomic's reiterated claim yesterday that Australian cannot win the Davis Cup without him.

The former world No.17 player was unavailable for the Brisbane tie due to his appearance on a reality TV show.

Hewitt, who said earlier in the week that Tomic was "very doubtful" to be chosen for Davis Cup duty, did not give Kyrgios - Australia's top-ranked player - a chance to answer, saying the team was concentrating on this tie against Germany.

"We have nothing to say. We have a job to do,'' Hewitt said.

Australian Captain Lleyton Hewitt with singles players Alex de Minaur and Nick Kyrgios. Picture: Liam Kidston
Australian Captain Lleyton Hewitt with singles players Alex de Minaur and Nick Kyrgios. Picture: Liam Kidston

Asked later if he thought Australian could win the Davis Cup this year for the first time since 2003, Kyrgios said he was confident.

In contrast to the stay-away Tomic, 18-year-old Alex de Minaur was bristling with excitement about being selected to play for Australia, for the first time, when he takes on Germany's world No.5 Alexander Zverev.

De Minaur, a Spain-based player, chose to play for Australia despite having Spanish and Uruguayan parents.

"There's no greater honour than representing your country. We have a great team chemistry and push each other,'' de Minaur said.

Zverev said he had a lot of respect for de Minaur.

"He (de Minaur) will be great for Australia in the future," Zverev said.

The 20-year-old German had a sardonic take on Tomic claiming he would be determined to train hard enough to charge towards a top-five ranking from his current No. 168 now he was now longer on the set of I'm a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here.

"Didn't he (Tomic) say he wanted to ebb top five after he leaves the jungle camp? Good luck to him, I'll say that,'' Zverev said.

"He's been there for what, six hours? It was great fun for the viewers for the one day it lasted.

"Hopefully he can get back to play playing a good level of tennis, which he's done on a number of occasions.''

The tie is the fourth Davis Cup weekend at Pat Rafter Arena, which opened in 2009 as the successor to the defunct Milton stadium, the site of which is now a six-court tennis facility and children's playground.



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