Nick Kyrgios' brother lifts the lid on heartbreaking family split

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Nick Kyrgios, pictured here with brother Christos in 2014.
Nick Kyrgios' brother Christos says new girlfriend Costeen Hatzi has changed him for the better. Image: Getty

Christos Kyrgios has opened up about 'getting his baby brother back', revealing how he was recently estranged from Nick after the Aussie tennis star forgot how important family was.

In an emotional tribute penned ahead of Sunday's Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic, Christos revealed how he and brother Nick weren't on the best of terms until recently.

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"For a big chunk of the last six or seven years, I lost my little brother," he wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald.

"That kid I grew up with, who was so carefree and engaging, was almost gone.

"The world changed him. Tennis changed him. He became distracted; always worried about something. Even when you were with him, he wasn't present in the moment."

Earlier this year, Kyrgios admitted to having suicidal thoughts, abusing drugs and self-harming during a dark period in his life in 2019.

He blamed his depression on the relentless grind of the tennis tour, being away from his family and putting too much pressure on himself.

"He was a prisoner in his own body, going through the motions without any sense of happiness in the life he'd worked so hard to make for himself," said Christos.

"I'd come over to visit mum and dad's and Nick wouldn't get out of bed before midday. And when he did, he was straight out the door. In four or five days, I'd see him for an hour.

"I missed my brother. I didn't know this other person that he had become."

Christos Kyrgios, pictured here watching Nick from the crowd at the Australian Open in 2018.
Christos Kyrgios watches Nick from the crowd at the Australian Open in 2018. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Christos said the turning point was Nick meeting new girlfriend Costeen Hatzi, with the Aussie star crediting her with helping him switch off after big matches and separating tennis from everyday life.

"She's helped open his eyes again. She's cut from that same cloth where family is the most important thing," said Christos.

"There was a lot of chaos in Nick's life before he met her. The way he wanted his life to be was not the way things were unfolding.

"Seeing him mature and evolve back into the happy fulfilled version of himself is all that I could have asked for.

"For us, we've already got our baby brother back. Mum and dad have got their son back."

Nick Kyrgios, pictured here with girlfriend Costeen Hatzi and sister Halimah at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios with girlfriend Costeen Hatzi (L) and sister Halimah at Wimbledon. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Nick Kyrgios pays tribute to support network

Speaking in his post-match press conference after going down to Djokovic in four sets on Sunday, Kyrgios praised his support group.

"My fire's been lit this whole year," he said.

"I've obviously met a lot of amazing people this year who have just given me extra motivation.

"To find people that finally have my back, that I just love being around, and they just want to push me to be a better person and to be a better tennis player, they realise that I'm immensely talented and I have a lot of, I feel like, a lot more to do in this sport."

Sticking to the limited playing schedule that he's adopted in recent years, Kyrgios said he plans on taking a break to recharge for the American hardcourt swing culminating in the US Open starting on August 29.

"I just don't want to sacrifice family time or time at home. I don't want to be that person that's playing so much tennis during the year and not cherishing those times at home," he said on Saturday.

"After a result like this, win or lose, I want to have that crucial time at home to enjoy it with my loved ones.

"I've played this sport since I was seven years old. These are the times where I feel like you just want to sit and enjoy it. We made it this far.

"I'm not saying to get complacent or anything like that. I still have tournaments after this as well. The US swing, obviously.

"After that, I just want to have time where I can reflect and say it's been a good couple months, then recharge and then go again."

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

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