Tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios couldn’t care less if people hate him for his outspoken ways, which often divide the game.
“I’ve never been one to crave being liked or anything like that,” Kyrgios told ESPN.
“When I was a young chap, I was always very emotional when I played, and nothing’s really changed,” he admits with a wry smile.
“Whether the perception was they loved me or hated me, my stadiums are always full, TV ratings up.”
Bushfires near his home in Canberra earlier this year saw him become a public figure, with offers to make donations for every ace served at the Australian Open.
“This year with the bushfires, people were losing homes and lives… and so I put that tweet out that I’d donate for every ace, and it went out throughout Australia and then globally,” he said.
“I’m not looking for the media attention doing that stuff, I just realised we could help.
“In Canberra, we had the most toxic air in the world at one stage [due to the bushfires], and we couldn’t really go outside. It wasn’t pleasant.
“I’ve definitely felt the public perception warm to me a little more, but it didn’t drive me to do these things.”