The Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios has said that Australia’s tennis legends have a “sick obsession with tearing [him] down”.
The 27-year-old claimed he was “the outcast” of his compatriots before describing himself as an inspiration to others who have been surrounded by “negative headlines and clouds”.
It comes after the former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash, 57, accused Kyrgios of “cheating, manipulation and abuse” at this year’s championships.
Kyrgios told a press conference on Friday that he had been snubbed by his compatriots, saying: “As for the greats of Australian tennis, they haven’t always been the nicest to me personally. They haven’t always been supportive. They haven’t been supportive these two weeks. So it’s hard for me to kind of read things that they say about me.”
He said Lleyton Hewitt, 41, was the country’s only champion to have stood by him, adding: “It’s pretty sad because I don’t get any support from any of the other Australian tennis players, the male side. Not the players, but like the past greats.
“It’s weird they just have like a sick obsession with tearing me down for some reason. I just don’t know whether they don’t like me or they’re afraid. I don’t know. I don’t know what it is. But it sucks.”
The world No 40 has been accused of domestic abuse. It was revealed on Tuesday that Kyrgios is due to face a court in Australia after being summonsed to face a charge of assaulting a former girlfriend.
He reached the Wimbledon men’s singles final after 22-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal pulled out of their semi-finals clash with an abdominal tear.
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An article in the Daily Telegraph described Kyrgios reaching the final as the tournament’s “worst nightmare” on Friday.
When asked about the headline the Australian responded: “It’s hard. It’s something I have to deal with.”
Kyrgios, whose mother, Nill, hails from Malaysian royalty, also spoke about his tennis journey, saying: “I grew up in Canberra, the courts I trained on were horrible, and now I’m in the chance to play the Wimbledon final.
“I think it’s honestly an inspiration for any sort of kid who’s kind of been outcasted or just been surrounded by negative headlines or negative … clouds or trying to be, like, just being brought down from a lot of different angles.”