Of underarm serve & frosty handshake: Rafael Nadal blasts Nick Kyrgios after controversial match

by Ajit Singh Khanna | Posted on Thursday, February 28th, 2019 | 0

Not that it wasn’t expected, but Nick Kyrgios was at his controversial best at Mexican Open on Thursday.

Squaring off against world No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the second round, Kyrgios called upon the physio claiming he was ‘sick’ as he mulled pulling out after losing the first set 3-6.

“I feel sick,” he said. “If I forfeit, the media will blow it up… I’ll be booed off the court. I’m gonna try to play a couple of more games.”

However, the Australian star continued, trying to do all he could to fight his way back into the contest.

He even tried to be cheeky at one stage, serving underarm to Nadal who is known to stand way beyond the baseline; unsuccessfully though.

And guess what? After winning the second set 7-6, Kyrgios went on to save three match points to win the deciding tie-breaker.

And while he burst into celebration immediately after the win, Nadal’s look conveyed objection at Kyrgios antics.

That was evident for from the fact Nadal offered a frosty handshake at the net before making his way out.

And he didn’t shy away from giving an honest opinion on Kyrgios.

“He is a player who has a huge talent could be winning Grand Slams or fight for the first position in the ranking and something is where it is,” Nadal said in the post-match press conference before adding: “[Kyrgios] lacks respect for the public, the opponent and himself.”

Kyrgios, on the other hand, was elated with the big win having had a topsy-turvy season so far.

“It’s massive. I’ve struggled a lot this year, so to be able to put in a performance like that against the No. 1 seed is pretty special,” Kyrgios was quoted as saying by ATP World Tour.

“The level of tennis I played today is a good test for my body [and] just the way I competed, I left it all out there… It’s a massive confidence boost for me,” he added.

Kyrgios can afford no complacency as he is scheduled to lock horns with three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, who clinched a 7-6 6-4 win over American Steve Johnson on Thursday.

“It’s going to be incredibly tough,” the 24-year-old admitted. “Another multiple Grand Slam champion who knows how to win matches.

“It looks like he’s coming into form again. His one-handed backhand is one of the best ever in the game [and] he’s a great competitor.”

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