“I wanted to hit him”: Nick Kyrgios crashes out in fiery grudge match against Rafael Nadal
Nick Kyrgios has made headlines once again after his second round loss to Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, saying the Spanish champion wasted time, didn’t play according to the rules and also placed blame on the umpire for not calling the star out.
The pair are known to famously hold a grudge against one another, and the match was thrilling to say the least. Temper tantrums and death stares featured heavily during the game but despite Kyrgios’ best efforts, Nadal ended up taking the win.
The Spaniard emerged victorious in four sets 6-3 3-6 7-6 7-6, as he proved to be the better player in two nail biting tiebreakers to seal the final result.
It was made perfectly clear that the two do not see eye to eye, and Kyrgios was left enraged after Nadal took the first set 6-3.
During the changeover, Kyrgios lodged a complaint to umpire Damien Dumusois saying he wasn’t given the opportunity to challenge a call because the official’s eyes were on the other side of the court even though the only player who would want to go upstairs would be Kyrgios.
Then Nadal, who is known to take up every one of his allotted 25 seconds between points, frustrated the Aussie for taking his time to serve.
“I’m ready to serve, how long are we going to wait? I’m ready to serve the ball,” Kyrgios told the umpire.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) 4 July 2019
His anger went straight through to the seventh game, as he was still fuming at the next change of ends when we went down 4-1.
“When he’s serving, he’s controlling the tempo,” said Kyrgios. “Why do I have to wait for my serve? Why am I waiting? Why?
“It’s too long between serves, it’s bulls***. It’s ridiculous,” he said.
Things just seemed to get progressively worse as the match went on, with the 24-year-old losing his cool after Nadal took a bathroom break.
“What is this stuff bro? Play the game, play the game. It’s stupid,” he said. “You guys (umpires) are the worst of the lot, you’re so biased. Just kiss up to his bum, it’s a joke.
“He takes 40 seconds between every serve, is that within reason? No. So don’t tell me to play within reason. He doesn’t play within reason.
“It’s not fair. This is part of sport is it? What’s happening now is part of the sport?
“I’m serving next and he happens to take a toilet break now. Why?
“What’s going on bro? What’s going on? It’s bulls***.”
The young player retaliated at his opponent by taking aim at Nadal, drilling a ground stroke straight at the 33-year-old, hitting him on his body. Nadal’s response was an icy death stare as he waited for an apology that never came.
Kyrgios later told the press that he was aiming to hit Nadal in the chest and that he refuses to apologise as he did nothing wrong.
Nadal then addressed the situation saying the clip doesn’t adhere to the customs of respect and sportsmanship that tennis is known for.
“Honestly, it is not about what I feel or what I don’t feel. Honestly, it is about we are in a game and the history of this sport is about respect and is about playing fair during the whole time,” said Nadal.
“I don’t say Nick does this stuff to bother the opponent, but it is true that sometimes he’s dangerous. When he hits the ball like this, is dangerous.
“It’s not dangerous for me, it is dangerous for a line referee, dangerous for the crowd. When you hit the ball like this, you don’t know where the ball goes.
“I know he’s a big, talented player, but I am a professional player too. I know when you hit this kind of ball, the ball can go anywhere. This time the ball went in, almost hit me, no problem. I am professional, so I know how to avoid this.
“But another one, the ball goes straight to the back. So it could have been a dangerous moment for the line umpire. That ball hits an eye or something like this, is a problem. That’s it.
“It is not about I am angry about him at all. It’s about I want to play a match of tennis. Sometimes it’s difficult.”