Tennis icon Rafael Nadal has launched a scathing attack on Australian player Nick Kyrgios after their heated affair at the Mexican Open which eventually ended in a shocking loss for the Spaniard.
During the match, Kyrgios was at his temperamental best, seeming injured at various points in the match, rattling the crowd leading to heavy boos and also serving under-arm at one point in the match. Yet in a high, quality encounter, he managed to secure a victory with a 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (8-6) scoreline.
Nadal who is usually very reserved in his press conferences did not mince any words when quipped about his thoughts on Kyrgios’ behaviour.
“He’s a player who has the talent to win Grand Slams – a player who can fight for the top rankings, but there’s a reason he is where he is. But he lacks respect for the public, the opponent and for himself. He is a very dangerous player but lacks consistency. I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I think he’s a good guy.”
Kyrgios did not take kindly to Nadal’s words, firing back with his own barbs.
“I’m different. Rafa’s different. He can focus on what he needs to do. He doesn’t know the journey I’ve been through. He doesn’t know anything about me so I’m not going to listen at all. It’s the way I play. It’s the way he plays – he’s very slow between points and I think that the rule in the book is that you have to play to the speed of the server but Rafa has the speed every time. I’m not going to comment on him, his game. I’ve got my game; he’s got his own game. We played well – that’s the sport. People are different – I’m not going to take that into consideration at all.”
This is not the first time that Kyrgios has landed in trouble. He has had many controversies with fellow players, especially Stan Wawrinka and has had his motivation questioned many times, despite there being no doubts about his quality.