Nick Kyrgios has a new secret weapon behind the scenes – but he’s keeping mum on her identity.
Kyrgios delivered a massive upset on Wednesday night with a 6-4, 7-6, (7-5) win over world number two Andy Murray at the Hopman Cup.
Kyrgios’ performance – impressive given Murray eliminated Kyrgios from three of the four grand slams in 2015 – bodes well for the upcoming Australian Open.
But how did the 20-year-old pull off such a massive feat?
The world number 30 revealed afterwards he received plenty of tips from a mystery advisor.
“I don’t have a coach, but I did get certain tips from a certain someone before the match,” Kyrgios said.
“I’m not going to tell you who that is.
“Hopefully that can continue to come, and she can keep giving me tips.”
While the obvious answer would normally be retiring veteran Lleyton Hewitt, who has been Kyrgios’ mentor in recent months, the use of the word “she” throws things into question.
So we’ve narrowed it down to the three ladies in Kyrgios’ life who could be secretly schooling him.
Kyrgios’ girlfriend, Croatian-Australian women’s world No.65 Ajla Tomljanovic, is the most obvious pick for Kyrgios’ secret weapon.
The pair were rumoured to be dating back in July 2015, just one month before Kyrgios’ infamous sledge to Stanislas Wawrinka regarding Wawrinka’s girlfriend, Donna Vekic.
“[Thanasi] Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend, sorry to tell you that mate,” Kyrgios told the Swiss player during a match at the Montreal Masters. He was later fined US$10,000 for the incident.
Since then, Kyrgios hasn’t exactly stayed out of trouble but this latest performance could be a step in the right direction and we might have Tomljanovic to thank.
In recent weeks, Kyrgios has been more open about sharing videos of his girlfriend on Instagram, even referring to Tomljanovic as “my girl” in one post.
A video posted by Nicholas Kyrgios (@k1ngkyrg1os) on
In the videos, Tomljanovic can be seen hitting some practice shots back to Kyrgios, even smashing a winner over the net at one point.
The celebration @ajlatom 🙄🙊 A video posted by Nicholas Kyrgios (@k1ngkyrg1os) on
All signs point to a love match on and off the court.
Someone who has certainly expressed interest in Kyrgios’ game in the past is women’s world No.22 Victoria Azarenka.
Back in January last year, Azarenka and Kyrgios exchanged a series of flirty Twitter messages, in which Kyrgios offered the 26-year-old “private lessons”.
However, it’s entirely possible the tables have turned and Kyrgios has reneged on his offer in favour of private lessons from Azarenka.
Aside from the obvious online chemistry, Azarenka cites her favourite shot as a backhand, while Kyrgios is also known for his impressive two-handed backhand.
Azarenka is familiar with the challenge of being a young up-and-coming player in a competitive group – she reached her first Grand Slam final in 2009 at the age of 19.
She could teach Kyrgios a thing or two about maintaining a level head and a steady hand in the crazy world of tennis.
Twenty-year-old American player Madison Keys, ranked world No.18, is a friend of Kyrgios’ thanks to their similar ages and Nike contracts.
The duo teamed up in a match of mixed doubles at Wimbledon last year and spend a lot of free time together while on the tour.
Currently ranked No.18 in the women’s singles competition, Keys boasts a strong serve and powerful groundstrokes.
For the last year, Keys has also had the benefit of coach Lindsay Davenport. While to two parted ways in December, Keys no doubt has tips to pass on.