The 17-time Grand Slam Champion Rafael Nadal on Thursday slammed the controversial tennis star Nick Kyrgios for his antics during the second round match at the Acapulco International in Mexico. The Australian came back from behind to pick up a win over Nadal 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (6), after overcoming a bout of nausea, a stiff back and dramatically saving three match points over the Spaniard to register his win.
Speaking to ESPN after the match, Nadal said that world number 72 has no respect for anyone. “He is a player with huge talent and could be winning Grand Slams or fighting for the number one ranking. But he lacks respect for the public, the opponent and for himself,” the 32-year-old said.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 28 February 2019
During the match, Kyrgios called for numerous interruptions. After losing the first set, he called his trainer and said that he felt sick but would continue playing on as he feared the media would “blow it up”. During the second set, when a frustrated Nadal tried to quieten down the crowd, Kyrgios backed the suggested and screamed “shut up” with an expletive, an outburst that drew him a warning from the umpire.
Complaining of a sore back, Kyrgios called for his trainer again between the second and third sets.
Reacting to Nadal’s criticism, the 23-year-old said he is not going to listen. “I’m different, Rafa’s different. He can focus on what he needs to do. He doesn’t know the journey I have been on, he doesn’t know anything about me,” he said.
“I am not going to listen at all. That’s the way I play. The way he plays is very slow between points. I’ve got my game, he’s got his game. People are different, that’s the sport,” Kyrgios added.
The controversial player will face off against Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinal, who defeated seventh-seeded Steve Johnson 7-6 (5), 6-4 to reach the quarters.