This morning, everyone in Australia woke up to one name: Nick Kyrgios.
The 19-year-old Australian tennis player beat world number one Rafael Nadal overnight at Wimbledon, despite being ranked at 144.
If he goes on to win the tournament, he will be the lowest ranked player ever to do so. (Kyrgios needs to win three more games – including the final – to take out the title).
Here’s everything you need to know about the tennis prodigy we’re all talking about:
1. He’s from Canberra.
Kyrgios was born in Canberra in 1995. His mum is of Malaysian heritage, and his dad is Greek. He is the youngest of three kids: his brother Christos is a lawyer, and his sister Halimah is an actress.
2. He became involved in tennis acting as his older brother’s ball boy.
His mum Norlaila told The Daily Mail:
‘He started playing tennis because my eldest son, Christos who is eight years older than him, was a tennis player – but not to Nick’s level.’
‘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.’
3. But tennis wasn’t his first ‘serious’ sport.
While he started tennis at age 7, Kyrgios played representative basketball in his early teenage years. The 6ft 4in teenager represented the ACT and Australia in junior competitions.
When he was 14, he decided to focus solely on tennis. At age 16 he was accepted into the Australian Institute of Sport on a full scholarship.
4. He’s been world number one before.
… In the junior boys competition. But, hey, it counts!
Kyrgios was junior world number one in 2013. However, this is the first year he has been in the adult competition.
5. His mum didn’t think he was going to beat Nadal.
Before the big match, Kyrgios’s mum had her money on Nadal.
Kyrgios told the BBC after his win, “My mum said in an interview she thought Rafa was too good… that made me mad and spurred me on.”
Not that Kyrgios and his mum are on bad terms. In fact, they wear matching Malaysian jade necklaces when Kyrgios takes the court.
6. He has made around $235,000 from tennis.
Which sounds like a pretty good pool of cash for a 19-year-old kid… until you consider that his opponent last night had won $70 million, which is around 300 times that.
7. He’s a funny guy.
Speaking at a press conference before he took on Rafael Nadal, he said: “Obviously, [Nadal and I have] 14 Grand Slams between us, so it’s going to be a good match.”
8. He wears awesome pink headphones.
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) April 27, 2014