It was the year 2014 and an unknown young man, who had received an invitation to play that edition of Wimbledon eliminated the world number one in the fourth round of the London Grand Slam. That talented player was Nick Kyrgios, and number one, Rafael Nadal. Five years later their paths are crossed again in the grass of the All England Club today at 12 in the morning. Since then, that Australian talent that amazed the world, has only been able to reach a Masters 1000 final, which he lost, and those 2014 Wimbledon quarterfinals are still his top in Grand Slam.
For his part Rafa Nadal has won four more Grand Slam and continues to mark the history of the sport of tennis. But this duel, like almost everyone who plays the wayward Nick Kyrgios, goes beyond sports. The winner this year of the Tournament of Acapulco is known for his strong character, his eccentricities, both on and off the track and his controversial statements against fellow circuit and ATP. The talent of Kyrgios for the game of tennis is only comparable to the times he loses his head. His last great controversy took place at the 1000 Masters in Rome. After several "warning" for unsportsmanlike conduct, the referee sanctioned him with a "penalty game" an automatic game against, and the Australian went crazy and threw balls and rackets towards the stands to later throw his chair to the court and take the path of the dressing room before the referee disqualified him.
On the track Nick Kyrgios has been more times protagonist for his bad doing than for his virtues and stratospheric blows. Disrespectful with his rivals on several occasions he chooses to take the spoon to break the game, he chooses to hit simple balls under his legs and when he gets tired of playing he simply stops and waits for the game to end. He has engaged several times in verbal discussions both with the stands as with the referees or their rivals. Perhaps the two most controversial were when he addressed Stan Wawrinka saying his girlfriend had slept with the Australian Kokkinakis or when faced with a fan in Miami. However, Nadal warns of the danger of his opponent, which before major players is usually focused on deploying his tennis and at its highest level Kyrgios can win anyone. "I prefer to play with people easier, and especially on a surface like this, but I do not choose the pictures. Against top players (Kyrgios) he enjoys and goes out to play and to show his potential, that is why it is foreseeable that he will come out and play well, because he likes it, and me too. You have to fight from the beginning, "said the Spanish tennis player after his victory in the first round against the Japanese Sugita.
The direct confrontation between both players supports the words of Nadal. Since that first duel in 2014, the only match between the two in Grand Slam, they have seen each other on six other occasions, with three victories for each. The last time they played was last February in Acapulco, in a game that Kyrgios managed to take to his field, eccentricities through, to end up beating the Spanish. It began in that press conference a cross of statements between the two players that continues to this day. Nadal advised the Australian to treat the crowd, his rival and himself with more respect and Kyrgios responded with vehemence and sarcasm: "Rafa does not know me and I will not listen to him. Each one is how he is. For example, he is very slow to draw and the rule says you have to hurry and he goes beyond the norm. But I'm not going to get into how he plays. "
The reigning Roland Garros champion has opted to stay out of dialectical disputes, but in today's game the Australian has blamed Toni Nadal for the bad relationship between them as a result of statements in which the former coach Rafa indicated that "Kyrgios is bad for tennis." Nadal has had a tough bone to crack in the second round, in an edition in which several favorites have already fallen.
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