Nick Kyrgios says he does not want to be like Roger Federer and is instead focussed on following his own trajectory in life.
Kyrgios attracts attention on and off the tennis court for the unique way he expresses himself, but he revealed that he no longer lets outside influences take away from who he is.
Instead the 26-year-old wants to inspire kids to see that there is more than one route to follow, away from the examples set by multiple Grand Slam champions like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
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In a candid conversation with ABC's 7.30, the Canberra native - who took home his first Grand Slam title in the men's doubles at January's Australian Open - said: "I look at myself in the mirror every day and I know I'm comfortable in my own skin.
"It took a long time to look myself in the mirror and thought, 'I don't really care if I win a Grand Slam. I don't want to be like Roger Federer'.
"I don't care how I'm perceived because the people around me know I'm a caring person. I'm always myself. I'm confident and I try and help people.
"I've always been myself. I've always been like this since I was a young kid. I have always been emotional and theatrical at times on the court. I'm comfortable in my own skin.
"I want to be remembered as more than just someone who played tennis.
"I want to be remembered as an icon — someone who just went out there and did it their own way.
'You've got Nadals and Djokovic and Federers; I want kids to be like, 'If that guy can do it then maybe we can do it as well.'"
Kyrgios also hit back at suggestions he had been disrespectful in the final of the doubles showpiece in Melbourne by Matt Ebden, who was across the net in tandem with Max Purcell.
Kyrgios said: "No disrespect, it is Matt Ebden, do you know what I mean?
"I have my own foundation. I help kids. I'm more than a tennis player.
"That comes from a place of jealousy to comment on our success and what we're doing off the court."
With Australia due to play Hungary in the Davis Cup between March 4-5, Kyrgios was expected to be a part of captain Lleyton Hewitt's doubles pairing.
Rumours however suggested that Hewitt declined to select him but his partner for that Australian Open triumph, Thanasi Kokkinakis, denied that.
Kokkinakis said: "He [Kyrgios] definitely was asked to play.
"He has a few things on so he wasn’t able to play but he definitely didn’t get snubbed or anything.
"I saw those headlines and he didn’t get snubbed at all. Hopefully we can team up again in the future.
"I think Nick has shown he always loves playing for Australia. I’m not sure exactly what he has on, but he obviously has something pretty important.
“He’s obviously in our strongest team. He was definitely asked, and I think he and Lleyton have a good relationship, but he just wasn’t available for this time.”
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