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Nick Kyrgios teases engagement to girlfriend Costen Hatzi on his birthday

Nick Kyrgios has teased an engagement to his girlfriend Costen Hatzi in the wake of his charity basketball match controversy.

The tennis player faced backlash after he competed against other celebrities in a charity match for sick children on Sunday, with critics accusing him of being ‘pushy’ and ‘unsportsmanlike’ on the court.

Despite the backlash, Kyrgios was all smiles on Wednesday as he celebrated his 27th birthday, sharing a romantic photo to Instagram of himself celebrating with Hatzi, 21, while hinting the pair were secretly engaged.

Ring-a-ding-ding! Tennis player Nick Kyrgios (left) teased an engagement to girlfriend Costen Hatzi (right) on his 27th birthday on Wednesday. He shared this photo to Instagram of the couple hugging alongside a diamond ring emoji

Kyrgios, who has been dating university graduate Hatzi since December, raised eyebrows when he re-posted a photo of the couple cuddling on the tennis court, alongside a padlock emoji and diamond ring emoji.

‘My babe,’ he wrote.

Meanwhile, Hatzi shared a birthday tribute to her boyfriend on Instagram, uploading a gallery of throwback snaps documenting their four-month relationship.

Young love!  Hatzi shared a birthday tribute to her boyfriend de ella on Instagram, uploading a gallery of throwback snaps documenting their four-month relationship

Young love! Hatzi shared a birthday tribute to her boyfriend de ella on Instagram, uploading a gallery of throwback snaps documenting their four-month relationship

Smithen!  'Happy birthday to the most incredible human I have ever met.  I am so lucky to have you and forever grateful for everything you have done for me.  Your selflessness and care is unmatched,' she wrote in the caption

Smithen! ‘Happy birthday to the most incredible human I have ever met. I am so lucky to have you and forever grateful for everything you have done for me. Your selflessness and care is unmatched,’ she wrote in the caption

Something to tell us?  Hinting at wedding plans, Hatzi added: 'I can't wait to do life with you and travel the world together, I love you today and forever, my squish'

Something to tell us? Hinting at wedding plans, Hatzi added: ‘I can’t wait to do life with you and travel the world together, I love you today and forever, my squish’

‘Happy birthday to the most incredible human I have ever met. I am so lucky to have you and forever grateful for everything you have done for me. Your selflessness and care is unmatched,’ she wrote in the caption.

Hinting at wedding plans, Hatzi added: ‘I can’t wait to do life with you and travel the world together, I love you today and forever, my squish.’

It’s not the first time Kyrgios has sparked engagement rumours, as just last week he posted a series of diamond ring emojis underneath an Instagram snap of the couple.

Hints: It's not the first time Kyrgios has sparked engagement rumours, as just last week he posted a series of diamond ring emojis underneath an Instagram snap of the couple

Hints: It’s not the first time Kyrgios has sparked engagement rumours, as just last week he posted a series of diamond ring emojis underneath an Instagram snap of the couple

Sparking rumours: The couple were forced to deny engagement rumors last month when Kyrgios posted this picture of the pair cuddling up in Miami, with Hatzi wearing a ring on her left-hand wedding finger

Sparking rumours: The couple were forced to deny engagement rumors last month when Kyrgios posted this picture of the pair cuddling up in Miami, with Hatzi wearing a ring on her left-hand wedding finger

While Kyrgios’ personal life seems to be flourishing, his professional image certainly took a hit during a celebrity charity basketball match at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney on Sunday.

Kyrgios went head to head with famous Aussies, including NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Miss Universe Australia 2020 Maria Thattil, during the Sydney Kings’ charity match, which was held to raise funds for the Starlight Foundation.

Critics subsequently described Kyrgios as a ‘jerk’ and ‘unsportsmanlike’ for supposedly taking the game ‘too seriously’.

Backlash: While Kyrgios' personal life seems to be flourishing, his professional image certainly took a hit during a celebrity charity basketball match at Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday

Backlash: While Kyrgios’ personal life seems to be flourishing, his professional image certainly took a hit during a celebrity charity basketball match at Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday

Footage from the game showed the six-time ATP title holder, who spends a lot of free time playing basketball and stands at 1.93m tall, racing across the court, towering over Thattil, and knocking the ball away from Perrottet.

On Tuesday night, NBL great-turned-commentator Steve Carfino tore the controversial tennis star to shreds in a scathing review of Kyrgios’ display while appearing on Fox Sports.

Carfino, himself a former distinguished professional basketballer, was appalled by the ATP world No. 77’s performance as he watched from the sidelines while coaching the rival team.

Hmm: Footage from the game showed Kyrgios, who spends a lot of free time playing basketball and stands at 1.93m tall, racing across the court, towering over Miss Universe Australia 2020 Maria Thattil, and knocking the ball away NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet (left )

Hmm: Footage from the game showed Kyrgios, who spends a lot of free time playing basketball and stands at 1.93m tall, racing across the court, towering over Miss Universe Australia 2020 Maria Thattil, and knocking the ball away NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet (left )

Kyrgios has since hit back at accusations he took the charity game too seriously.

‘Lack of respect? You potato, have a look at my foundation and look me in my eyes and tell me what lack of respect there is for that?’ I posted on social media.

‘Maybe if you showed less sportsmanship your NBA career would have lasted longer.’

Backlash: Carfino, himself a former distinguished professional basketballer, was appalled by the ATP world No. 77's performance as he watched from the sidelines while coaching the rival team.  (Pictured: Miss Universe Australia 2020 Maria Thattil at the basketball game on Sunday)

Backlash: Carfino, himself a former distinguished professional basketballer, was appalled by the ATP world No. 77’s performance as he watched from the sidelines while coaching the rival team. (Pictured: Miss Universe Australia 2020 Maria Thattil at the basketball game on Sunday)

Carfino doubled down on his comments on Wednesday morning, saying there was a better time and place for Kyrgios to show off his sporting prowess.

He added the situation looked like the scene from a classic Seinfeld episode when Kramer was beating up on little kids in the karate class.

‘I’ve been to a lot of charity events, you know, whether it’s golf, or whether it’s, you know, AFL celebrity game, or whether it’s, you know, rugby league, you know, players who have skills and players that are playing at the top level, they understand where they are, they’re playing against, you know, Miss World contestant, they’re playing against people who haven’t played basketball before,’ Carfino told Fitzy & Wippa.

‘So I just thought, you know what, all the tennis players in Australia, I find it Nick Kyrgios the most entertaining to watch, I do think there’s a time and a place for it.

‘If that’s what he has to tap in to get to the world class level, that’s fine I get it. But there’s, that was the wrong time in the wrong place. I just felt like his behavior from him in that game, you know, it wasn’t right for that moment. That’s all.’

Hitting back: Kyrgios has since hit back at accusations he took the charity game too seriously.  'Lack of respect?  You potato, have a look at my foundation and look me in my eyes and tell me what lack of respect there is for that?'  I posted on social media

Hitting back: Kyrgios has since hit back at accusations he took the charity game too seriously. ‘Lack of respect? You potato, have a look at my foundation and look me in my eyes and tell me what lack of respect there is for that?’ I posted on social media

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