Nick Kyrgios has committed to Naomi Osaka’s new adventure as the Aussie tennis star makes a big move before Wimbledon gets going.
Nick Kyrgios has been unveiled as the first athlete to sign with the sports agency launched by fellow tennis star Naomi Osaka.
Osaka split with renowned talent agency IMG last month and founded her own company EVOLVE, alongside longtime agent Stuart Duguid. Their agency describes itself as being “focused on brand partnerships, investing, creating athlete-owned businesses and philanthropy”.
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“When I learned that Stuart and Naomi were starting an agency focused on supporting athletes like me, it made complete sense to join,” Kyrgios said in a statement.
“I have consistently tried to do things differently throughout my career and bring my entire personality to the game of tennis.
“I’m excited to work with Stuart and Naomi and continue building on what we’ve started and push the game of tennis forward.”
Osaka said Kyrgios embodies the type of athlete EVOLVE wants to represent, praising the Aussie’s “unmatched style, passion, and personality that is unlike any other in the sport”.
Duguid added: “EVOLVE is a unique place for a small number of generational athletes who can transcend their sport and influence broader culture — Nick is most definitely in that category.
“Love or hate him, you definitely can’t keep your eyes off him. If you go to any junior tennis tournament, you will see Nick’s influence.
“For Gen Z and younger, he is absolutely the icon.”
Rumours swirled earlier in the year Kyrgios and Osaka would team up in a different way, via mixed doubles at Wimbledon, after she gave some cryptic responses to questions about the identity of her partner at the All England Club.
However, the four-time major winner has since pulled out of Wimbledon, after she voiced scepticism about competing following the decision to strip the major of any rankings points because of its ban on Russian and Belarusian players.
Meanwhile, Kyrgios boasts his best ranking in almost two years thanks to blistering grass-court form that makes him the most dangerous unseeded player at Wimbledon next week.
The Canberran climbed 20 spots to No. 45 on Monday after making the Halle semi-finals, where eventual champion Hubert Hurkacz barely edged him out in a third-set tie-break.
His singles ranking blew out to 137 in the weeks after he claimed the Australian Open doubles title with Thanasi Kokkinakis, before impressive runs as a wildcard at Indian Wells and Miami put him back on track.
Kyrgios dismantled top-20 rivals Pablo Carreno-Busta and Stefanos Tsitsipas, the world No. 6, at Halle to make it that far, after advancing to the Stuttgart semi-finals the previous week.
He admitted to being “happy” with his form after the narrow Hurkacz defeat and will complete his Wimbledon preparations at this week’s Mallorca Championships in Spain.
“I might use it as a down week, so I’m not going to worry too much about the result,” Kyrgios said of Mallorca.
“But now that I say that, when I get there, I will obviously want to continue my form.”
His unseeded status means he could face anyone from Novak Djokovic to Rafael Nadal or even Matteo Berrettini in the first round at Wimbledon, with none of the big guns eager to see the Canberran in their section.
With Marc McGowan, NCA NewsWire
Originally published as Nick Kyrgios commits as Naomi Osaka gets her man with new venture