It kept him away from his Nanna. That's why Nick Kyrgios is so angry at tennis.
Kyrgios has penned a typically forthright column for the new website PlayersVoice, where Australian sportspeople write unfiltered, first-person content.
It's raw, it's real, and above all, it's revealing as hell about a man who is perhaps the most misunderstood figure in Australian sport.
"I am not the person professional tennis needs me to be. That's the truth," he opens.
"There is a constant tug-of-war between the competitor within me wanting to win, win, win and the human in me wanting to live a normal life with my family away from the public glare."
Krygios goes on to explain the pain he felt when his grandmother, Julianah Foster, passed away two years ago.
"I didn't get to spend the time with her I wanted to and tennis was the reason for that. It kept me away from her. It's something that still gnaws away at me."
"If I'm honest, I'd say I haven't committed to tennis the way the game needs me to since she died."
No one has ever doubted the natural talent of Nick Kyrgios , but many have had a crack at his passion. But what's a Grand Slam title or a trophy compared to a human life, to connection, to a meaningful relationship?
Kyrgios has been angry as hell at tennis because it robbed him of precious nanna time. And boy, was he close to his nanna.
"Nanna was basically my mother for five or so years while my mum was working full-time as a software engineer and travelling back between our home in Canberra and her offices in Sydney and Melbourne," he writes.
"We were incredibly close. We spent hours and hours and hours together. We even slept in the same bunk bed.
Krygios reveals in the column that he even has a "74" tattoo in honour of his nanna, as that was her age when she died. So does his brother. Amusingly, they hid it from their mum.
SO WHAT NEXT?
The question now is whether Kyrgios can become the next great player in an era when several all-time legends are at the very back end of their careers. Australians want it. You could argue that tennis needs it. Will it happen?
As Kyrgios says in the column, "It all comes down to my motivation levels".
"I can honestly say winning a grand slam would not make me the happiest person on earth," he writes.
And with perspective like that, Kyrgios might just be better-placed than some of the burned out players like Bernie Tomic to reach the pinnacle of the sport. Speaking of which...
NICK ON BERNIE TOMIC
Kyrgios saves a pretty big serve in his column for Bernard Tomic -- who for years was touted as the future of Australian tennis but who has clearly lost motivation in recent years.
"Bernie has lost his way. We were pretty good mates when I was younger. I obviously didn't know the tennis tour too well back then and we were guys of similar age, representing the same country, on the road at many of the same tournaments.
But a lot has changed since then. He needs to figure out what he wants to do. I can't relate to anything he says anymore. He says one thing and he does the other. And he contradicts himself all the time."
AND THE FUTURE?
This will make you like Nick Kyrgios. Even if you're turned off by him, his thoughts on what he'd like to achieve in life will make you reconsider.
"There is plenty I want to achieve in life. I get asked quite often about what the future holds, which always seems a bit strange when you're only 22 and have a tennis career, a family life and many other things in front of you.
But one motivating thought I have is to earn enough money to build a centre for kids who are homeless, having problems at home or don't have the financial means to play sport.
One of the most satisfying things I've done is building a little shelter at the Lyneham Tennis Centre in tribute to be Nanna, right where she used to smoke her cigarettes and read her Woman's Day. That, I am learning, is what life is all about."
Read the full column at PlayersVoice.com.au.Suggest a correction