Nill Kyrgios told Australia’s Nine Media that she had seen a big change in her son’s outlook on life since the Australian Open at the start of the year.
‘It was so hard for us to get him to do anything,’ she said. ‘He was happy to sit in his room and play video games all the time. His shoulder would hurt him 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 order in, that’s what worried me.
‘I remember in Canada we said, ‘Let’s go to Niagara Falls’. He wouldn’t even go there. I actually went on my own on the tour bus. Nick wouldn’t want to do those things.’
Kyrgios is the first Australian since 2003 to reach the men’s singles final at Wimbledon and he will meet Novak Djokovic or Cameron Norrie for the title on Sunday, having received a walkover after his opponent Rafa Nadal withdrew due to injury.
Nick Kyrgios’ run to the Wimbledon final has been credited to giving up video games by his mother (Kyrgios is pictured visiting Big Ben with girlfriend Costeen Hatzi this week)
Kyrgios’s mum (left) says her son is enjoying life a lot more since giving up video games
His mother has been unable to travel to London because of health issues but has been keeping up with his successes – and days out – on social media.
‘He’s finally appreciating where he is, that’s the best thing about this,’ she added. ‘There’s such a difference now, I see it on his (Instagram) stories.
‘It’s probably the first time he’s been to Big Ben. All the time he’s been to London, he hasn’t gone anywhere. Since the Australian Open this year, he has started doing some things.
‘He now understands that life doesn’t revolve around tennis. No one expects him to be like that. You have to enjoy your life. I’m really happy he is now.’
Back in 2020, Kyrgios claimed that he is a ‘professional gamer’ as well as a tennis player, such was his love for, and commitment to, video games.
‘I’m a professional tennis player and I’d like to think I’m a professional gamer on the side,’ he said.
Kyrgios began playing video games at the age of 8 after watching his older brother from afar and was instantly hooked on Call of Duty.
Kyrgios pictured with Costeen outside Buckingham Palace on his London sightseeing tour
Giving up video games is the reason behind Kyrgios’s Wimbledon run, his mum says
An avid gamer, Kyrgios would spend hours playing Call of Duty and injure himself doing so
‘I personally believe that I’m the best gamer on the tennis tour. There’s a lot of guys that think they can game,’ he said in a promotional campaign with PS5.
‘Athletes, in general, because they’re high on confidence, generally think they can game as well, but they can’t.’
He added that losing games online would affect his mood and once held ambitions to pursue a professional gaming career after hanging up his racket.
‘I think when I reach that 10-year mark professionally, I think I wanna try and transition into the gaming environment. And I definitely think I’m good enough,’ he said.
Kyrgios has been accompanied by his close-knit team, as well as girlfriend Costeen Hatzi during his whirlwind journey in SW19. The Australian is staying in Wimbledon Village, where physiotherapist Will Maher has ensured the 27-year-old does not fall back into bad habits.
Kyrgios is now one win away from being crowned Wimbledon champion after Nadal pulled out
Maher has sought to incorporate Kyrgios’s beloved basketball in his tennis training and has inspired a dietary change for the Australian, who know follows a vegan diet.
Kyrgios has just one more hurdle to clear before inscribing his name in the history books, with the 27-year-old given a free pass to Sunday’s final after Rafael Nadal pulled out of their semi-final clash with an abdominal issue.
‘As a competitor, I really did want that match,’ he said. ‘As soon as I beat Garin I knew Rafa was a high possibility. I really did want to see how the third chapter [of Wimbledon-Nadal rivalry] was going to go. I just hope he recovers.’
Kyrgios revealed after his quarter final win over Cristian Garin that he would not fly his mother over to London to watch him finish the tournament, with it deemed too risky due to her recent kidney transplant.
Nill Kyrgios won’t travel to London for the final as she has recently had a kidney transplant
‘Obviously my mum’s health has been a bit rocky,’ he said.
‘It’s been pretty bad for a while now. She’s not able to kind of come to these (events) and she’s not allowed to travel that much.
‘Even the Australian Open, she won’t come to my matches because she’s got, like, a pacemaker and stuff, it’s too stressful, and all that type of stuff.
‘I try and talk to her. She’ll wake up in the morning, say, ‘I just saw the live scores. It looks like you had a tough match’.
‘I’m just like, ‘You have no idea. Obviously.’
‘I’m just glad she’s able to kind of keep an eye on me from home.’