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Thursday, 3 July 2014

Giant-killer Kyrgios spurred by M'sian-born mum's doubts

MELBOURNE: Nick Kyrgios’ (pic) victory against Rafael Nadal on Tuesday shocked many tennis fans around the world, including his Malaysian-born mother.

Knowing that his mother back home in Canberra doubted his chances against the world No.1 men’s singles player Rafael Nadal helped spur Nick Kyrgios to his stunning win at Wimbledon.

Bernama quoted the 19-year-old teenager as telling Australian Associated Press (AAP) that he was surprised to read an interview from Australia in which his mother Norlaila talked down his chances against Nadal in the fourth round of the championship.

“Last night, I was reading a comment that she thought Rafa was too good for me,” said Kyrgios, after his 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 victory on Tuesday.

“It made me angry. I just believed in myself that I could create some opportunities and I took them under pressure,” he said.

Asked what he would say to his Kuala Lumpur-born mother after the win, Kyrgios said: “I’ll just send her a smiley face.”

Kyrgios is from a tight-knit family, but his mother Norlaila and elder brother Christos, a lawyer, have remained home in Canberra while his father George and sister Halimah, an actress, are at Wimbledon with him.

In Canberra, Norlaila who watched the game with Christos and other family members was ecstatic about the shock result.

“He’s doing us proud. Like this must be, something clicked in him and he’s just doing it,” she told Australia’s Seven Network.

Christos said: “We always believed in him (Kyrgios) and he believed in himself but to actually have it happen, it’s unreal. It’s crazy.”

Kyrgios, a wildcard entrant ranked 144th, has set up a last-eight showdown on Wednesday with Canadian eighth seed Milos Raonic.

“My mind is buzzing. I haven’t thought about my match against Raonic. I’m still enjoying this win,” said Kyrgios.

Former winners John McEnroe and Pat Cash believe the fearless Kyrgios can go on to emulate Boris Becker by winning the Wimbledon title as a teenager.

Tags / Keywords: Sport , Nation , Wimbledon , Nadal


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