Just days after crashing out of Wimbledon in an ill-tempered match, controversial tennis star Nick Kyrgios has posted an unrecognisable throwback picture on social media, crediting sport for his transformation over the years.
The 24-year-old, who is currently in the Bahamas taking a short break before competing in the United States’ World Team Tennis tournament next week, shared the black-and-white image on his Instagram page on Thursday.
Before he became the second highest-ranking Australian tennis player, Kyrgios was a promising basketball player. In the picture, a very young Kyrgios with chubby cheeks can be seen sporting a basketball jersey while holding a ball above his head in what appears to be his family’s living room.
He captioned the photo: “Sport matters because it is the greatest school of lessons, teachers, and perseverance.”
Many fans were quick to comment on the post, with one writing: “You look adorable!”
Another added: “[You’re] an outstanding player.”
And a third wrote: “You have come a long way, looking forward to the second half of your career.”
This isn’t the first time the tennis star has shared a throwback image to social media. Last month, Kyrgios delighted fans with a photo of himself as a kid holding a tennis racquet, displaying his love of the sport from an early age.
Kyrgios, who has found himself in hot water over his on-court antics during the UK tournament, received two fines totalling $US8,000 (AU$11,471) on Tuesday.
According to a news.com.au report, the Australian tennis player received one fine of US$3,000 relating to his first round win over Jordan Thompson and then US$5,000 for his second round loss to Rafael Nadal.
The 24-year-old crashed out of The Championships last Thursday after being beaten by Nadal, however it was his antics during the first set which garnered the most attention as he had some cross words with umpire Damien Dumosois.
Kyrgios was landed with a code violation due to the exchange, in which he branded Dumosois a “disgrace” and called out the official for exploiting the “power” he has as an umpire, according to BBC Sport.
The row began when Kyrgios complained about Nadal’s speed of play, asking Dumosois: “Why am I waiting to serve?” He then went on to say: “When he’s serving, he’s controlling the temp.
“Why do I have to wait for my serve? Why am I waiting? Why? It’s too long between serves, it’s bulls***. It’s ridiculous.”
It didn’t end there though, as Kyrgios then mocked the chair umpire about the “power” he has in his chair which saw him slapped with a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.