Inside Nick Kyrgios's outrageous life from Wimbledon meltdowns, 'bullying' rows to soppy romance with influencer | The Sun

WHEN it comes to making a racquet, Australian Nick Kyrgios is the true successor to John McEnroe as the new bad boy of tennis.

Kyrgios set the staid world of Wimbledon alight this summer with his raging temper and outrageous behaviour — just as the US champ did 40 years ago.



And like McEnroe — famous for bawling “you cannot be serious” at umpires — he screamed abuse at officials and riled his opponents.

Viewers dared not miss his controversial press conferences — with Kyrgios eventually beaten in the Wimbledon final by Novak Djokovic after being tipped early on as a potential champion.

The astonishing prediction came despite extraordinary scenes on No1 Court in the Third Round where the 27-year-old Aussie was branded “evil” and a “bully” by opponent Stefano Tsitsipas.

Earlier in the tournament he was even fined £8,000 for SPITTING at a spectator.

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But tennis experts said that in spite of his terrible behaviour, Kyrgios had what it took to hold aloft the men’s singles trophy and collect a cheque for £2million.

Kyrgios — who had never progressed further than the quarter finals of any grand slam — also beat 20-year-old American Brandon Nakashima, plus Cristian Garin and Rafa Nadal, to reach this year's final.

And the crowd always expected fireworks on the court, where the bad boy smashed 140mph serves with an incredible 75 per cent accuracy.

To rattle his opponents, he even served underarm.

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In the Third Round, the world No40 riled Tsitsipas so much that the Greek player repeatedly tried to hit balls at him and angrily twice deliberately smashed shots into the crowd, narrowly missing fans.

After losing, No4 Wimbledon hope Stefanos complained of his opponent: “It’s constant bullying. He was probably a bully at school. I don’t like bullies.

“He has some good traits in his character, as well. But he also has a very evil side to him, which if it’s exposed, can really do a lot of harm to the people around him.”

Kyrgios hit back: “He’s got some serious issues.

“I’ve got many friends. I’m actually one of the most liked. He’s not liked. Let’s just put that there.

The star’s unmistakable style split pundits, with some praising his pure entertainment value and others claiming he is a stain on the game.

BBC tennis analyst Laura Robson said fans were watching Kyrgios for the “wrong reasons”, hoping he will “self-implode”.

Even McEnroe, now 63, warned him over his temper, saying: “I hope he sees the writing on the wall before this gets chronic.”

But former British No1 Andrew Castle described Kyrgios as “pure box office” and insisted his unpredictability is what fans loved about him.

Kyrgios’s stunning fiancée, 21-year-old social media influencer Costeen Hatzi, and his dad George, were among the sell-out crowds on Centre Court.

His mum Nill is a member of the Malaysian royal family but gave up using the title princess when she moved to Australia and fell in love with painter and decorator George, who had emigrated from Greece.

Nick gets his feisty attitude from his mum who, when he came to London in 2014 to play in his first tournament, told her son he would be beaten by Spanish ace Nadal.

'He can do lot of harm'

Kyrgios was so incensed he beat the fans’ favourite in four sets — his best-ever Wimbledon result.

Since then controversy has followed him around the world as he battled against umpires and opponents alike.

At the 2016 Australian Open he swore and complained about music coming from the nearby Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Fuming Kyrgios screamed at British umpire James Keothavong: “Mate, are you OK? There’s music playing in the crowd.

“I’ve told you seven times. Am I hearing things? Mate, it’s a circus.”

As Kyrgios walked off the court after losing to Czech Tomas Berdych, he shouted at the official: “You’re a terrible referee.”

The previous year he goaded Stan Wawrinka at the Canadian Open by telling him that low-ranking Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis “banged your girlfriend. Sorry to tell you that, mate”.

Microphones also picked up Kyrgios saying under his breath that Wawrinka, who was 30 at the time, was “banging 18-year-olds”.

His sponsor, Bonds underwear, dropped him for the outburst.

He crashed out of the 2017 French Open, losing to South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, after deliberately smashing two racquets — and asking a spectator for a beer mid-match.

During a clash with Britain’s Kyle Edmund in the 2019 Rogers Cup, Kyrgios refused to play on until he was given a white towel instead of the tournament-branded ones.

When the pristine item arrived, he berated officials because they had taken 20 minutes to get it to him.

‘Afraid to be alone’

Kyrgios was fined £17,000 at the Italian Open after losing the plot when he was given a game penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

He threw a fold-up chair on to the court and shouted about the umpire: “I’m giving 100 per cent to deal with f***ing idiots like him. I’m f***ing done with it.”

With that he slung his bag over his shoulder and stormed off, forfeiting the match to Norway’s Casper Ruud.

That same year he lashed out at Nadal at the Cincinnati Masters. He said of his opponent’s slow service routine: “If Rafa plays that quick I’m retiring from tennis.”

Kyrgios was then denied a bathroom break. He took it anyway — smashing two racquets before returning to the court.

At that year’s Laver Cup he claimed he had lost concentration during his defeat to Roger Federer because he had spotted a “really hot chick in the crowd”.

He said: “I’m being genuinely honest — I’d marry her right now.”

Kyrgios does have a soft side. He won’t eat meat because he wants to protect animals.

He has had several stunning girlfriends — but his relationships have ended in acrimony too.

In 2015 he dated Croatian-born tennis pro Ajla Tomljanovic, who played for Australia.

Nick said: “It’s when I’m with her that I am the happiest.”

But the couple split in 2017 after Kyrgios was photographed partying with other female tennis players.

He later hinted at a reunion but the romance never rekindled.

'Happiness is Found'

For two months in 2020 he dated Russian player Anna Kalinskaya, who later told her Instagram followers: “We broke up. We aren’t friends.”

Kyrgios was soon making comments about wanting to sleep with good-looking fans.

Though last summer he announced on Instagram “Happiness is Found” with model Chiara Passari.

Yet by October police were called to a quarantine hotel in Adelaide to deal with a row between the pair.

The following month she called Kyrgios a “player” and after he sent roses as an apology she fumed: “Who sends someone roses while still doing the same s***?”

Passari accused him of being “afraid to be alone” after he then fell in love with interior designer Costeen Hatzi.

The beautiful influencer shared her first post of Kyrgios on January 2 with a mirror selfie of them together in the bathroom — after he had left the toilet seat up.

Hatzi captioned it: “Not a bad way to start 2022,” and added a love heart.

By May he was claiming they would be married “very soon” and showing off a new tattoo in tribute to her.

Kyrgios claims to not even like playing tennis but insists he is the world’s best grass-court player.

And after reaching this year's final, he surely has the 2023 Wimbledon trophy in his sights.

He said in July: “I just want to remind everyone that I’m pretty good. I think it’s my best chance to win a grand slam of all the four.”

His army of new fans knew they would be royally entertained every step of the way.

Indeed, in the Wimbledon final, Kyrgios accused a spectator of having had “700 drinks” and talking between points.

Ania Palus, 32, has now launched a defamation case against Kyrgios.

And at August’s US Open, he claimed a fan was smoking marijuana in the stands in a rant at the umpire.






Great for the game? – By Andrew Castle, Former British No1

NICK KYRGIOS is great for the game.

He’s box office, and why do we watch sport?

Because it is unpredictable.

With Kyrgios, I don’t know whether I am going to see a great exhibition of shot-making or a psychological meltdown. It’s a potent combination and one that crowds adore the man for.

Wimbledon scheduled him on Court 12 for his first round match and you could not move for the queue.

His first victim was Britain’s Paul Jubb, undone in five gruelling sets and with the customary drama.

A line judge reported Kyrgios to the umpire. Cue the meltdown.

He called her a “snitch” in a 15-minute press conference that was as entertaining as many matches.

Messily eating sushi while talking, he could not understand why anyone would call him a hypocrite for criticising somebody doing their job while he was doing his.

He also admitted spitting in the direction of a fan who was against him on court.

I commentated on his match on Court Two a day later and he was simply magnificent in dismissing Filip Krajinovic.

Moving to Court One led us to his confrontation with Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas hit a ball into the crowd and Kyrgios wanted him kicked out of the tournament.

The locker room might not consider it “sportsmanlike” but that will not bother the Aussie.

He feels he has been victimised time and again.

Tsitsipas was intent on hitting Kyrgios with a ball for the remainder of the match but missed, despite a couple of first-class opportunities.

And when Kyrgios served him underarm he smacked the ball out of the arena again and was given a point penalty. Insult to injury.

The crowd were lapping it up, as were the TV viewers as he made it to round four.

This guy is fascinating.

The reason I know this is that Mrs Castle will always tune in when he is playing.

He is complex, dangerous, talented and sensitive, a potent combination, and may yet have a big say in who wins this tournament.

I would loved to have seen Kyrgios play Rafa Nadal in the semi-final before the Spaniard's injury. They are polar opposites – and opposites don’t attract.

Andrew has been BBC lead commentator at 19 Wimbledon finals.

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