After a stellar season on hard courts, Nick Kyrgios has brought on his winning momentum to the clay courts as well. Usually his least preferred surface, Kyrgios has fared well so far and is into the semi-finals at the ATP Houston.
Ahead of his marquee clash against Reilly Opelka, the Australian is in high spirits and was seen having fun during his downtime. Kyrgios took to Instagram to share a clip of him in a Guy Fawkes mask or also known as the ‘Dali Mask’, famous for its use in the Netflix series ‘Money Heist’ and the movie ‘V for Vendetta’. Kyrgios startled his girlfriend Costeen Hatzi, who was caught off guard by him. Kyrgios sneakily pulled off a prank that left Hatzi scared out of her wits.
Kyrgios and Hatzi have been together for the last 5 months and are quite vocal about their relationship. The duo often post pictures of each other on their social media accounts and Hatzi is often seen in the player’s box cheering on Kyrgios. In fact, Kyrgios will be making a return to the French Open in 2023, after a gap of 5 years for a bizarre reason saying his girlfriend motivated him to do so.
“I haven’t played that in four years (this year being the fifth) so I’ll be back next year. My girlfriend just wants to see Paris. I mean, I’ll play the French Open as well,” Kyrgios said in an earlier interview.
Nick Kyrgios inches closer to his maiden title on clay in Houston
Kyrgios is competing in his first clay-court tournament since 2019 at the Houston Claycourt Championships. The Australian is into the semi-finals, where he will take on home favorite Reilly Opelka. Despite being well known for his hatred of clay, Kyrgios has been clinical so far in Houston. He already confirmed he will be skipping the Roland Garros this year and Houston will be his only tournament on the red dirt.
The 26-year-old had to come back from a set down in his opener against Mackenzie McDonald (4-6, 6-3, 6-4) before dispatching Tommy Paul in straight sets. He received a walkover in the quarter-finals after his opponent Michael Mmoh withdrew with an injury. His match against Opelka will be Kyrgios’ first semi-final on clay since 2016.
Meanwhile, his campaign in the doubles ended after he and his partner Jack Sock lost to all-Serbian pairing of Matej Sabanov and his brother Ivan Sabanov in the quarters. Nevertheless, he is just two wins away from clinching his maiden singles title on clay in Houston. With Opelka struggling with a shoulder injury, Kyrgios will fancy his chances against the American and inch closer to the title.