"I like the Nick Kyrgios doing this": Nadal's reaction to epic battle
Rafael Nadal has spoken up and says he wants to see more of the positivity and cunning spirit from Nick Kyrgios displayed in their gripping centre court match.
The world no. 1 won the game in four sets, with Kyrgios battling hard against his fierce opponent. After losing the third-set tiebreak and smashing a racquet, the Australian unfortunately had an going down 6-3 3-6 7-6 7-6.
It’s a surprising turn of attitude from Kyrgios who gave a more considerate and mature post-match performance than he has made a habit of displaying in the past.
The star said he may have been shattered by the loss at his home major, but said “overall, this summer has been fun. I feel like I’ve made progress as a human,” he said.
Kyrgios admitted he’s sourced inspiration and strength from his idol Kobe Bryant.
The NBA basketball legend passed away at the age of 41, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a horrific helicopter crash.
“It’s horrible news. If anything, it motivated me. If you look at the things he stood for, what he wanted to be remembered by, I felt like, if anything, it helped me tonight,” Kyrgios said.
“When I was down a break in the fourth, I was definitely thinking about it. I fought back.”
Both Nadal and Kyrgios have had their fair share of ups and downs, especially in 2019 when the loud and proudly outspoken Australian said Nadal was “super salty” and his “polar opposite”.
Nadal had bit back and complained Kyrgios “lacked respect”.
However, it seems the feud was left on the court on Sunday, after the world no. 1 praised his contender’s skill and spirit this summer.
“It was a very tough match,” Nadal said in his post-match interview.
“Against Nick you are never under control.
“If you have a mistake, like I had in the second set with one serve of mine that I had a mistake, then he has a break it is so difficult to break him again …
“What can I say about Nick? I think when he is playing like today with this positive factor he gives a lot of positive factor he gives a lot of positive things to our sport. I encourage him to keep working like that, because he is one of the highest talents, honestly he is one of the highest talents that we have on our Tour.
“And I like the Nick Kyrgios doing this.”
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