Nick Kyrgios, who is playing in Kuala Lumpur this week, says he loved watching Roger Federer as a child—and still does today.
“I remember watching him play,” Kyrgios told reporters at the tournament. “I still watch him a lot when I’m in my room doing nothing. I would just go on YouTube and watch him. I think he’s the greatest of all-time.
“He’s the one role model I have—off the court as well—because of the way he carries himself, helping people.”
The 20-year-old Australian is half-Greek and half-Malaysian, and he’s been to the Asian country six times.
Kyrgios added that when he was a child playing both basketball and tennis, he had to choose one sport to pursue seriously. Basketball was “a lot better,” he said, but he chose tennis.
“My parents drove me towards tennis a lot,” he said. “I’ve come a long way from where I was around six years ago, so I don’t regret the choice at all.”
His mother, Norlaila Kyrgios, told The Rakyat Post that her son had to choose one sport.
“In the end, I told Nick he had to commit to at least one,” Norlaila said. “So he had to choose whether it was tennis or basketball and give that one choice his 100 percent. And then if he didn’t like one, no questions asked — he could give it up and go on to the next one.”