10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

There Will Be No Love Lost In Another Nadal vs. Kyrgios Wimbledon 2019 Showdown

By Ricky Dimon


Rafa, meet Nick. Nick, meet Rafa.


Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios will, in fact, meet each other–again–on Thursday. But that meeting will be reserved for the tennis court (Centre Court at Wimbledon, to be exact). It won’t extend to lunch, dinner, or cocktail.


“I’m not sure that me and Rafa could go down to the Dog & Fox and have a beer together,” Kyrgios said following his 7-6(4), 3-6, 7-6(10), 0-6, 6-1 first-round victory over fellow Australian Jordan Thompson on Tuesday.


They could, one would suppose. It just wouldn’t be too enjoyable. How are you supposed to enjoy having a beer with someone you don’t like?


They don’t like each other, and they’ve admitted–without actually saying the exact words–that they don’t like each other. Both players have resorted to using “know” as the code word for “like.”


“I don’t know Nick,” Nadal said during his pre-tournament press conference.


“I don’t know him at all,” Kyrgios said after beating Thompson.


As usual, the 24-year-old was more willing to expand on their relationship–or lack thereof–than Nadal had been following a 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 rout of Yuichi Sugita.


“I know him as a tennis player,” Kyrgios continued when asked if he would be interested in getting to know Nadal better. “I just don’t… no. I don’t know him very well. I don’t know what you want me to say to the question. It’s a very strange question.


“I get along with (some) people; some people I don’t get along with.”


When asked to confirm that he was saying he doesn’t get along with Nadal, the world No. 43 answered, “I mean, we have a mutual respect. But that’s about it I think.”


“”He’s my polar opposite,” Kyrgios also said in a now-infamous podcast this spring in Rome. “Like literally my polar opposite.”

Nick Kyrgios of Australia in action against Jordan Thompson of Australia during their first round match at the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 02 July 2019. EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO COMMERCIAL SALES

If they have nothing in common off the court, they perhaps have even less in common it. Nadal, of course, is one of the most well-respected fighters in tennis history. Kyrgios, by his own admission, does less work than anyone inside the top 100 (another thing he said in the aforementioned podcast).


Nadal knows as well as anyone that Kyrgios will tank when he wants to tank and will play–I mean really play–when he wants to play.


“(He’s a) very dangerous player when he wants to play tennis,” the two-time Wimbledon champion said on Tuesday. “Normally against the best players, he wants to play tennis.”


It’s true. Kyrgios has defeated Nadal three times (3-3 overall), Federer once (1-5 overall with several thrilling losses), and Djokovic twice (2-0 overall). Put him on a main court at a huge tournament against one of the Big 3 and Kyrgios will go into “This is Spartaaaaaaa!” mode. Throw him on some outer court of some small tournament against some random opponent and he is apt to make Bernard Tomic look like a try-hard by comparison.


Centre Court…. Wimbledon…. Versus Rafael Nadal…. We know which Kyrgios is going to show up on Thursday.


And we know that when it’s over, they still won’t know each other.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.


Editor’s Note • Thinking Court 1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *