Nick Kyrgios, the Australian tennis player, presently competing at Wimbledon and soon to take on Rafael Nadal in the round of sixteen, is being touted as the newest sensation in the world of tennis.
He has been catching all and sundry's attention after storming through the first three rounds at Wimbledon. The Australian has been making headlines after his giant-killing display against Frenchman Richard Gasquet, saving nine points to shock the 13th seed.
Kyrgios, born to a Greek father and a Malaysian mother, has made other stars sit up and take notice of him. Andy Murray, the current title holder at Wimbledon, has called him the "next big Aussie star," reported The Guardian.
Tennis great and 17 Grand Slams winner Roger Federer flew him out to Switzerland to practise before this year's French Open.
Fans from Down Under haven't had a lot to cheer in the recent past, compounded with Llyeton Hewitt's second-round exit. But, Kyrgios' emergence has greatly excited the Aussies.
For his third-round match against Czech Jiri Vesely on Saturday, a group of Australian supporters known as the Fanatics joined the Wimbledon queue on Friday at 5pm so as to secure ringside seats, such has been the interest for him, said The Guardian report.
However, the game did not start well for Kyrgios as he lost his first service game and could do very little about Vesely's left-handed bombs. However, rain interruption handed the former a lifeline, sending the two players to dressing room with the first-set score at 4-2 in the Czech's favour.
After a five-hour downpour, Kyrgios came into his own, putting on display the shot-making that had been too good in the previous round for Richard Gasquet, the No13 seed over five classic sets. He tore Vesely's game apart with a convincing victory in the end: 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-2.
Kyrgios is hell-bent on remaining focused. "My goal is to become the number one player in the world," he said. His 130mph serve and violent ground strokes show that he has enough ammunition in stock.
He took to the game as his elder brother, Christos, eight years older than him, played the game. "He was Christos' ball boy – he would just follow him around and pick up his balls, and of course, Christos had no mercy for his brother. Nick was a quite a chubby fellow at that age, and he was quite proud of himself, walking around collecting the balls," Kyrgios' mother Norlaila told The Daily Mail.
In 2010, he won the International Tennis Federation junior title at the age of 15. He made his grand slam debut next year in The Australian Open. At present, Krygios is ranked 144.
His next clash at Wimbledon, against Spaniard Rafael Nadal, will be one of the biggest matches in his career.
Although the odds appear to be stacked against him, Australian veteran Pat Cash thinks he has it in him to pull off an upset.
"He's got nothing to lose; got the firepower to do some damage,'' the 1987 Wimbledon champion told Sydney Morning Herald. "It's a big ask to say he's going to win or get more than a set, but you never know."
Nadal in the current tournament has not been at his best. But, Krygios, who will be looking to exploit this, appears confident.