Nick Kyrgios has been unveiled as the first athlete to sign with the sports agency launched by fellow tennis star Naomi Osaka.
Osaka parted ways 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, building 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 perfect sense to join them,” Kyrgios said in a statement.
“I’ve always tried to do things differently throughout my career and bring all my personality to tennis.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Stuart and Naomi and continuing to build on what we started and pushing the game of tennis forward.”
Osaka said Kyrgios epitomizes the type of athlete EVOLVE wants to represent, praising the Australian’s “unparalleled style, passion and personality that is unlike anyone else in the sport”.
Duguid added: “EVOLVE is a unique place for a small number of generational athletes who can transcend their sport and influence a wider culture – Nick most definitely falls into that category.
“Love him or hate him, you definitely can’t take your eyes off him. If you go to any junior tennis tournament, you’ll see Nick’s influence.
“For Gen Z and younger, he’s absolutely the icon.”
Rumors swirled earlier in the year Kyrgios and Osaka would team up in a different way, via mixed doubles at Wimbledon, after giving some encrypted answers to questions about the identity of his partner at the All England Club.
However, the four-time major winner has since withdrawn from Wimbledonafter she expressed skepticism about the competition following the decision to strip the major of any ranking points due to its banning of Russian and Belarusian players.
Meanwhile, Kyrgios claims his best ranking in almost two years thanks to his blistering form on grass which makes him the most dangerous unranked player at Wimbledon next week.
The Canberran moved up 20 places to No.45 on Monday after making the semi-finals in Halle, where eventual champion Hubert Hurkacz narrowly edged them in a third-set tie-break.
His singles ranking exploded to 137 in the weeks after winning the Australian Open doubles title with Thanasi Kokkinakis, before impressive runs as a wild card in Indian Wells and Miami put him back on track.
Kyrgios dismantled top-20 rivals Pablo Carreno-Busta and world No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas in Halle to make it this far, having reached the semi-finals in Stuttgart the previous week.
He admitted to being “satisfied” with his form after the narrow defeat to Hurkacz and will complete his preparation for Wimbledon at the Mallorca Championships this week in Spain.
“I could use it as an off 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, obviously I want to continue my form.”
His unranked 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 keen to see the Canberran in their section.
With Marc McGowan, NCA NewsWire