ATP Tour

Nadal, Kyrgios in war of words after Mexican Open clash

2019-02-28 13:23
Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal (AP)

Cape Town - Rafael Nadal was not a happy man after his loss against Nick Kyrgios at the Mexican Open, accusing the Australian of lacking "respect for the public, the rival and towards himself”.

Kyrgios saved three match points en route to stunning top seed Nadal 3-6, 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (8/6) in three hours and two minutes in Acapulco on Wednesday.

The Australian, who suffered with illness and injury during the match, was booed by the spectators and he also delivered an underarm serve at one point.

After wrapping up the match, Kyrgios celebrated by falling to the floor and once he got up he stuck his finger behind his ear looking for a reaction from the crowd.

The post-match handshake between the two players was also a little tense and Nadal didn't hold back in his criticism after the match.

"He is a player who has enormous talent," the 17-time Grand Slam winner is quoted as saying by ESPN.

"He could win Grand Slams and fight the top positions of the ranking, but there is a reason why he is where he is.

"He lacks respect for the public, the rival and towards himself."

Kyrgios, though, didn't back down when asked to respond to Nadal's comments.

"I'm different, Rafa is different. He can focus on what he needs to do," he said. "He doesn't know the journey I've been through, he doesn’t know me. So I'm not going to listen at all.

"That’s the way I play. That’s the way he plays, he's very slow between points and the rule of the book says you have to play at the speed of the server. But Rafa has the speed every time. I’m not going to comment on him and his game. I've got my game.

"I'm not going to take that (Nadal's comment) into consideration at all."

 

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