Nadal-Kyrgios Rivalry Heats Up in Mexico

Elena Summers
March 3, 2019

Australia's Nick Kyrgios in action during the match against Canada's Milos Raonic.

Thursday's match marked the pair's first meeting in two years; the last time they played each other was at the finals of the hard court ATP 500 China Open in Beijing, where Nadal took a searing 6-2, 6-1 win.

The crowd was overwhelmingly behind Nadal, prompting Kyrgios to scream "shut the f-- up" in response to their boos during the second set.

Nadal appeared most incensed when Kyrgios complained about the amount time this year's Australian Open runner-up was taking between points on the Canberran's serve.

"He is a player with huge talent and could be winning Grand Slams or fighting for the number one ranking", said Nadal.

Losing after holding triple match point, an incensed Spaniard declared that Kyrgios "lacked respect for the game, the crowd, and himself".

The post-match handshake between the two players was also a little tense and Nadal didn't hold back in his criticism after the match.

"I'm different, Rafa's different. He can focus on what he needs to do", Kyrgios told the media.

Kyrgios also had a brain snap after attempting an underarm serve while serving to stay in the match during the third set.

"He doesn't know the journey I've been through, he doesn't know me".

This loss to Kyrgios will definitely put a damper on Nadal's preparations for the French Open.

He will play Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals.

The 31-year-old former world number one has already said she would not play in the March 6-17 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California.

Kyrgios also revealed he almost didn't play the match because of food poisoning.

"I'm gonna try to play a couple of more games". The rule in the book says he has to play to the speed of the server, but Rafa has his speed every time, so I'm not going to comment on him.

"I'm just going to go back and work some more, practice some more and get ready for Indian Wells".

As only Kyrgios can do, the Aussie went on to win that service game, despite his underarm serve, and went on to force the match in the a third set tiebreak as the match ticked over the three hour mark.

"It's the way I play, it's the way he plays". I've got my game. As we all know, Nick has a very high level and a kind of a player that the one from the top does not want to face.

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