Rafael Nadal edges Nick Kyrgios to avenge Acapulco loss — ATP Wimbledon

Arnold Nichols
July 5, 2019

First for his explosive temper, then for his tennis.

Nadal, with 18 Grand Slam titles to his name, was somehow playing second fiddle on Wimbledon's Centre Court to a mid-ranked player who tells anyone who will listen that he barely cares whether he wins or loses.

The clash was absorbing and just like he captivated the crowd, Kyrgios had the attention of a packed interview room during a raw press conference that provided plenty of talking points.

Ahead of today's match, Kyrgios admitted he was unlikely to go for a drink with Nadal, though appeared to play down any talk of a bitter rivalry.

Djokovic goes on to face Hubert Hurkacz for a place in the last 16 having defeated the Pole in straight sets in the first round at Roland Garros in May. "[It] is not risky for me, [it] is unsafe for a line referee, risky for a crowd". "I kind of like ..."

And Kyrgios' self-assessment? "I know what I'm capable of".

Nadal had suggested that Kyrgios does have the makings of a Grand Slam champion but the Australian doubts he has the work ethic to achieve such a lofty ambition.

"I understand the rule completely that they want the young players not to play too much", Federer said.

"I'll play whenever I'm scheduled". I'm not the most professional guy. She understands me, she understands the game because she's a player, we train together in the mornings. Why do I have to wait for Rafa to get into his rhythm every time? Just depends how bad I want it.

Nadal's take? "With his talent and with his serve, he can win a Grand Slam, of course".

Kyrgios, who was pictured in a local pub late Wednesday night, initially enjoyed playing the clown as the pair shared the first two sets, before he put the pressure on Nadal in the next two.

"It was nice to hear some Aussies out there, get some support".

"When he hit the ball like this, (it) is risky".

"Why would I apologise?"

R: That's the convention, isn't it? I know if I play the right type of tennis, I can have success against him. Hit his racquet, no? I won the point, Kyrgios said.

Kyrgios: I don't care.

"I think he can take a ball in the chest, bro".

Afterwards, Krygios said: "I don't care".

R: Did you aim it straight at him?

"I play against a top talent player, very unsafe player when he wants to play tennis", he said. It's very much one step at a time for me.

Nadal made an early statement by surging into a 3-0 lead but Kyrgios countered and continued to show the the type of intensity and flair that he's famed for when he's on his game. I mean, it's tough. I know that I can bring a level.

Kyrgios also raised eyebrows midway through the set for berating the chair umpire over Nadal's service routine.

"The umpire today was horrendous".

"Obviously, with the World Cup and then the men's, the Gold Cup, between my two soccers, I'm fully booked".

"Why am I waiting to serve?" I got angry at the ref.

On a number of occasions, Kyrgious smashed his shots in the direction of Nadal and on one occasion, came very close to hitting him.

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