Nick Kyrgios may have bowed out of Wimbledon in just the second round, but he went out fighting, giving one of the acknowledged greats of the modern game, Rafael Nadal a real scare along the way.
Nadal eventually triumphed in an epic four set encounter 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 ( 7/5), 7-6 (7/3), against a Kyrgios who definitely looked up for the challenge.
All the Kyrgios trademarks were present including the cheeky under arm serves, the booming serve, the constant dialogue with himself and the umpire, providing an enthralled Wimbledon crowd with an exciting, closely fought contest with moments of great quality from both players.
In his post-match comments, Kyrgios was gracious in defeat acknowledging the high level of Nadal’s performance.
“I thought I started a little slow, but I thought he played really well today. I knew his game plan, I got onto it pretty quickly. He directed most of his serves to my forehand. He hasn’t really done that in the past. It’s definitely my weaker return. He was definitely trying to stay away from my backhand return a lot. But I thought just on big points, I mean, he played well. Hit his forehand extremely well. When Rafa plays well, he hits his forehand line extremely well. I thought today he was on fire with that shot. Every time he redirected, he was hitting balls just within the line, so … I thought it was a high-level match,” Kyrgios said.
“Two tiebreaks. I played a couple loose points here or there. That’s all it takes against a player like that. He was just too good today.”
He also went on to highlight his own weaknesses, and areas where he could improve, showing a level of maturity.
“I mean, I know what I’m capable of. Just depends. I’m a great tennis player, but I don’t do the other stuff. I’m not the most professional guy. I won’t train day in, day out. I won’t show up every day. So there’s a lot of things I need to improve on to get to that level that Rafa brings, Novak, Roger have been doing for so long. Just depends how bad I want it.
But, no, at the moment I don’t think I can contend for a Grand Slam.”