Nick Kyrgios has defeated the top seeded Rafa Nadal in the second round of the Mexican Open in what was a gruelling match which should have favoured the Spanish world No2.
He is a player who has a huge talent could be winning Grand Slams or fight for the first position in the ranking and something is where it is, [but] lacks respect for the public, the opponent and himself Rafa Nadal
Kyrgios won through to the last eight 3-6 7-6(2) 7-6(6) having survived three match points, thrown in an under-arm serve and grumbled loudly at losing the first set, complaining about his trainers and that he was feeling ill.
“I feel sick … if I forfeit, the media will blow it up … I’ll be booed off the court,” he said during the set. “I’m gonna try to play a couple of more games.”
Somehow he managed to put aside his alleged problems, dig and cause the upset of the tournament, rallying from 6-3 down in the third-set tiebreaker.
During the marathon three hour clash, the 23-year-old fired 21 aces past Nadal, hitting 58 winners to 49 unforced errors.
The usually courteous Nadal however, after acknowledging his defeat gracefully in his post match press conference, then accused his victor of being disrespectful to both himself and the public.
“He is a player who has a huge talent could be winning Grand Slams or fight for the first position in the ranking and something is where it is,” he said, adding “[but] lacks respect for the public, the opponent and himself.”
In response Kyrgios, who hadn’t beaten a top ten player in the last 13-months, said: “I’m different, Rafa is different. He can focus on what he needs to do. He doesn’t know the journey I’ve been through, he doesn’t know me. So I’m not going to listen at all.
“That’s the way I play. That’s the way he plays, he’s very slow between points and the rule of the book says you have to play at the speed of the server. But Rafa has the speed every time. I’m not going to comment on him and his game. I’ve got my game.
“I’m not going to take that (Nadal’s comment) into consideration at all.”
In the quarter-finals, the Australian will take on Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka, the three-time grand slam champion who edged out Steve Johnson 7-6(5) 6-4.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun.” Kyrgios said ahead of their match. “We have played each other five times before, he has beaten me three times. It’s going to be a good match.”