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By Erik Gudris | Monday, April 28, 2014

 
Nick Kyrgios Melbourne

Australia's Nick Kyrgios celebrated his 19th birthday by winning his second Challenger title in a row. Find out more about this rising young ATP star.

Photo Credit: AFP

Australia's Nick Kyrgios first gained wide attention earlier this year with a spirited five-set second round loss to France's Benoit Paire at the Australian Open. On Sunday, he celebrated his 19th birthday by winning his second straight Challenger title on clay.

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Find out more about this rising young ATP star who has quickly become a fan favorite on social media.

1. Vital Statistics: Kyrgios was born on April 27, 1995, in Canberra, Australia, where he still resides. He also spends time in Melbourne.

2. Early Days: Kyrgios started playing tennis at age six. But he almost chose basketball over tennis since he loved both sports equally. “It was probably the toughest decision I had to make, but my family was pretty keen on me taking up tennis,” Kyrgios said to ATP.com. “I love to play sports a lot so it was an easy transition to fully concentrate on tennis. It’s a choice I’m not regretting.”

3. Junior Standout: In 2012, Kyrgios partnered with fellow Australian Andrew Harris to win doubles at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Kyrgios then became the No. 1 junior in the ITF singles rankings in 2013.

4. Breakout Year: 2013 saw Kyrgios win both the Australian Open juniors title and the Wimbledon juniors doubles title with fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis. Kyrgios also won his first ATP Challenger title in Sydney and earned his first ATP main draw win at Roland Garros over Radek Stepanek. Kyrgios was also named to the Australian Davis Cup team.

5. Clay Is No Challenge: Recently, Kyrgios competed in several clay court Challenger events in the U.S. this spring. He won back to back titles in Sarasota and Savannah. Kyrgios, now at a career high ranking of No. 152, is the first teen to win two Challengers in row since Grigor Dimitrov in 2010.

6. Idol Worship: Kyrgios says his favorite players are Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Lleyton Hewitt and Roger Federer. “I’d say Federer is very much my idol. He’s the perfect athlete and has the perfect mental attitude. He’s so humble on and off the court," Kyrgios said.

7. Favorite Shot: Forehand.

8. Favorite Music: Likes a variety but Lil' Wayne and Rihanna are his favorites.

9. On Traveling Around the World: Kyrgios maintains a blog on his official website. About having to be on tour so far from home, he wrote, "This trip I am on is the longest trip I’ve ever been on and I won’t be returning to Australia until after the US Open, which is tough for me as I like to be around my friends and most importantly my family. But luckily they are going to be coming out to visit me for various weeks along the way, a luxury that many of my older fellow Australians couldn’t benefit from when they made their 6 month trips around the globe on a boat in order to play the French Open and Wimbledon back in the day, so I remind myself of that and know that all the greats of Australian tennis have gone through similar things and in the end it is all worth it."

10. Social Savvy: Follow Kyrgios on Twitter.

(Sources: ATP.com and Nickkyrgios.org)

 

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