The last time Nick Kyrgios played tennis his relationship status on Facebook would have been set to: “It’s complicated”.
The 26-year-old’s relationship with Chiara Passari garnered plenty of headlines during the Australian Open in February as leaked texts and cryptic Instagram posts raised plenty of eyebrows about the pair’s partnership.
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But fast forward to Wimbledon — the first tournament Kyrgios has played since losing in the third round at Melbourne Park to Dominic Thiem — and things are looking much rosier for the loved-up couple.
Knowing he wouldn’t thrive in the bubble-life imposed on tennis players travelling around the world during a global pandemic, Kyrgios has opted to sit out for much of the past 16 months. He didn’t play again in 2020 after the Acapulco Open in March and his schedule has remained light this year too, but broke ranks to come to Wimbledon and subject himself to isolation requirements because the tournament is one of his favourites.
Kyrgios beat Ugo Humbert in a five-set thriller to advance to the second round at the All England Club and afterwards was asked how he’s coping with life in the bubble, given he’s not someone who’s always focused 100 per cent of the time on tennis.
Having his girlfriend and best mate by his side is making a major difference.
Kyrgios and Passari are going strong.Source:Instagram
The pair haven’t always been on great terms.Source:Supplied
Kyrgios’ personal life is a key part to his tennis.Source:Instagram
“That’s why I didn’t play most of the year. I know myself and I don’t bulls**t to myself,” Kyrgios said at his post-match press conference.
“I know, ‘Nick, are you gonna be in a good mental space over this year to go week-in, week-out in the bubble environment?’ And I said no.
“That’s why I didn’t play for very long. I didn’t think playing during Covid was a smart thing.
“That’s why this week I brought my girlfriend, I brought my best friend. I wanted to bring two people that I trusted, that I feel very comfortable around, that made me feel good.”
Players’ entourages are limited to a maximum of three at Wimbledon this year, with most bringing a coach and fitness trainer along for the ride.
Kyrgios doesn’t have either of those, so had no hesitation including those closest to him on his trip to London. Both his friend and girlfriend were in the stands cheering the Canberran on against Humbert, and he showed his appreciation for the duo on Instagram before updating his followers on how he was winding down after the match with Passari and some quality video game time.
Kyrgios appreciates the love.Source:Instagram
Video games were on the agenda after a first round win.Source:Instagram
Kyrgios couldn’t commit to spending time in the bubble all year but he’s full of admiration for those who have.
“Anyone that’s in the bubble, I commend them for their efforts. It’s not easy. It’s not easy to disconnect tennis,” he said.
“Usually you can go back to your house in the Wimbledon village and then go for a walk and just disconnect.
“But to have good results week-in, week-out in the bubble — you’re very resilient and you’ve got to give props to these guys.
“They love it, they love the sport but it’s not easy. It’s not easy at all.
“Yesterday I was here at 12, warmed up, I was here (at Wimbledon) all day, finished, got back to my hotel at 1 (am) in a bubble. Woke up, back here. It’s not easy.”
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