'She's amazing': Nick Kyrgios' touching act for devastated Australian Open teenager

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Nick Kyrgios is rallying around devastated doubles partner Amanda Anisimova following the tragic death of her father.

Earlier this week Kyrgios led the condemnation of a reporter who brought Anisimova to tears with a question about her late father.

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A grieving Anisimova's grand slam return ended in tears, with the American rising star falling in the first round on Tuesday.

She then broke down in her post-match press conference when asked if she was feeling ‘unsettled’.

"Do we really have to talk about this so fast after a match,” she said before bursting into tears.

Nick Kyrgios is rallying around Amanda Anisimova. Image: Getty/AAP

Kyrgios has now gone in to bat for Anisimova ahead of their mixed doubles pairing.

"I just want to go out there and have a lot of fun," Kyrgios said on Thursday night.

"She's an amazing person. I'm just looking forward to go out there and hopefully — I mean, she lost first round. I know it's not going to be easy for her to be around the tournament.

"Hopefully I can get her up, bring some good vibes. Hopefully we can do well. I think we can. She's an amazing player. I'm looking forward to it.

"I've been excited for this for like a month and a half. I'm like a little kid at the moment. I'm pretty excited."

Anisimova grieving father’s death

The 18-year-old was playing her first major since the shock death of her father and long-time coach Konstantin Anisimov, who suffered a heart attack just before the 2019 US Open.

Anisimova had just announced herself as a contender, upsetting defending champion and world No.3 Simona Halep in the quarter-finals of the French Open.

She then lost to eventual champion Ashleigh Barty in a dramatic final-four showdown, coming from 0-5 to win the first set before the Australian prevailed in a career-defining win.

Earmarked for a big future, Anisimova signed a mega long-term deal with Nike that was reported to be the largest ever for a teenager and comparable to that of former great Maria Sharapova's eight-year, $102 million deal.

Reaching the fourth round at Melbourne Park in 2019, Anisimova's hopes of a repeat this year were dashed with the 21st seed was upset by world No.73 Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 6-3 4-6 6-3.

"Things are still pretty tough but I was excited to play in the Australian Open as it's my favourite grand slam," she said after composing herself in the press conference.

"I have good memories from it."

Kyrgios was among those to slam the journalist, taking to social media with a scathing swipe.

“This makes me so mad. Have a heart and please feel, it’s not fair. Keep your head up Amanda,” Kyrgios tweeted.

with AAP