Nick Kyrgios is trying to win his first ever Grand Slam title but his mother has revealed she won’t be watching it because it makes her too anxious.
The Australian tennis star faces world No. 1 Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon on Sunday after a stunning and unlikely run that saw him playing for the first singles honour of his colourful career.
The inspiring moment comes after his mother Nill was told by doctors she wouldn’t live to see 2022 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer last year.
‘The doctors said: ‘You won’t live after Christmas’. But I was so determined because my kids needed me still,’ she told Nine News.
‘I love it, he’s very kind and loving, he tells me he loves me every day. He cuddles, he doesn’t care if i cuddle him in front of people or give him a kiss. That’s the kid I love.’
Nill and Nick (pictured together at his 27th birthday celebrations in Canberra) share a close bond – but watching him play sends her into a ‘strange panic’
She said she believes her son has the game to stop the 20-time Grand Slam champion and claim his first ever title.
‘If he plays his game, which is different to Novak, move him around, his serve has to be on,’ Nill said.
‘At the end I’ll be super proud of what he’s achieved.’
But Nill said seeing the 27-year-old’s matches put her in such a bad place mentally that she had to seek professional help.
‘I haven’t watched him play for a while, actually. I can’t expose myself to that anxiety,’ she said.
‘The doctors said: ‘You won’t live after Christmas’. But I was so determined because my kids needed me still,’ Nill told Nine News
She has previously been courtside for her son’s games (pictured at the 2016 Australian Open) but admits she hasn’t been able to view him play ‘for a while’ after doing so left her in need of professional help
‘I go into a really strange panic … It actually got to a stage where I sought help. I was seeing a psychologist for six months. I was not in a good place. My anxiety level watching Nick was so high.’
Nill doesn’t even like checking the score during his games, she told the Sydney Morning Herald, so she waits for someone to message her and tell her the final result instead.
‘The problem is I don’t want to know, but I want to know … as soon as it (news of Nick’s win over Brandon Nakashima to reach the quarter finals) came through, there was just relief.’
Kyrgios shares a very close bond with his mother, whose kidneys are failing to the point where she says they are ‘very close to the end of their life’.
She told the publication she is hoping to receive a kidney from Nick’s father George if they are compatible and said, ‘Nick is worried. He’s always thinking if I’m going to be alright.’
Nill (pictured with Nick and his sister Halimah) says her kidneys are failing and she hopes to receive one from her husband George if they’re compatible
When Nick was closing in on the men’s doubles title at this year’s Australian Open, his older brother Christos said their mum had suffered from heart problems in recent years and had been unable to watch him as a result.
‘She’s a fighter. She has some heart issues and combining that with the heightened tension around watching Nick’s matches, she hasn’t been able to watch them at all, even on TV, over the last few years,’ Christos said.
‘But this doubles campaign has really allowed her to get involved and be right there courtside, which is so great to see.’
In September 2021 Nick quit every tournament he was scheduled to play in for the rest of the year because he wanted to spend time with Nill, also known as Norlaila, as she battled ill health.
Kyrgios made it to the Wimbledon quarter finals with a five-set win over American Brandon Nakashima on Monday night – but his mum was watching fellow Aussie Alex de Minaur instead
‘I need to go back home, I’ve been travelling for four and a half months now, my mum’s not doing too well with her health, I’d like to go back and see her,’ he said.
Asked about strict quarantine measures ahead of the 2021 Australian Open, he said he’d be happy to isolate because, ‘It’s not about me. My mum is incredibly sick.’
The star has often spoken of how he’s been left scarred by the death of his grandmother Julianah Foster, who passed away aged 74 just after his giant-killing run at Wimbledon in 2014.
‘The week she passed away, I was supposed to go see her with Mum but I was pretty busy,’ he revealed in 2015.
‘I just didn’t get to see her as much as I would have liked in the end. But I’m sure I could have just got a day off to see her. That’s what will live with me.’