(Reuters) – Firebrand Australian Nick Kyrgios believes he has found his life’s purpose in helping underprivileged children and he is planning to set up a facility for them in Melbourne.
The 22-year-old world number 21 said interacting with a young cancer patient at the Australian Open had opened his eyes.
“I think I’ve found my purpose in the last couple of months,” Kyrgios wrote in an essay published in the Players Voice (www.playersvoice.com.au).
“I‘m building something. It’s going to be sick.”
The mercurial Kyrgios is known as much for his volatile temper as his prodigious talent.
He was fined $16,500 by the ATP last year for purposely throwing a game away during his second-round defeat by Mischa Zverev at the Shanghai Masters.
Kyrgios was also docked a point for arguing with the umpire over a close line call in his 6-2 6-1 defeat by Rafa Nadal in the China Open final on Sunday and he has admitted to not being dedicated enough during his rollercoaster career.
“Tennis is a great life – we’re well paid and the perks are pretty good – but it can feel empty if you’re just doing it for the money,” he said.
”I love kids. I get more happiness from helping kids out and watching them succeed than I do from my own wins on the tennis tour. It’s always been that way.
“If my vision is realized, it’s my hope that I’ll be remembered for this more than anything I have done or will do on the tennis court.”
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond