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Helping underprivileged children has given Kyrgios a 'purpose' to play tennis

90   //    09 Oct 2017, 22:28 IST
World number 21 Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios says the prospect of helping disadvantaged and underprivileged children has enabled him to find a "purpose" to play tennis at the highest level.

The controversial Australian has made no secret of the fact that he has struggled to motivate himself to realise his undoubted potential.

Kyrgios had no shortage of drive on his run to the final of the China Open last week before Rafael Nadal denied him a first title of the year, although he did show some of his characteristic frustration in that final after a line call went against him.

The 22-year-old has revealed that setting up the Nick Kyrgios Foundation, with the aim of providing sport facilities to needy youths, has given him a huge incentive to succeed.

He wrote on the Players Voice website: "You hear people talk about being motivated for their kids, or a cause, or something more than just themselves. It's inspiration, pure and simple, and it gives them focus when times are tough.

"There's a reason underpinning everything. It's a higher purpose than just collecting a pay cheque.

"I haven't had that and I've always been envious of those who did. I think I've found my purpose in the last couple of months. I'm building something.

"A couple of years ago I had a vision: to build a facility for disadvantaged and underprivileged kids where they could hang out, be safe and feel like they were part of a family. There'd be tennis courts and basketball courts and a gym and an oval to kick the footy. There'd be things to eat and beds to sleep in.


"A few months ago, I discussed this with my Mum, Norlaila, and my Brother, Christos. It's all I've been thinking about outside of tennis since then. When I'm not playing, training or traveling, I'm working on this.

"We are currently in the process of scoping out land in Melbourne and looking for organisations and businesses to partner with us. This dream is going to become a reality.

"For the first time, I feel like there is a reason for me to be doing what I’m doing. 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.

"I know what it’s all for now. You've probably heard me say a few times over the years that I don't want tennis badly enough. But when I'm working on the NK Foundation and our Melbourne facility, I cast my mind forward to all the disadvantaged kids I'll be helping. I’m playing for them now."

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