Rafael Nadal requests sanctions against Nick Kyrgios after explosive match-up
As one of the most talented players of all time, Rafael Nadal has seen and done just about everything in tennis. He has faced off against the powerhouses, the technicians, and the workhorses with equal quality. However, at the Indian Wells event, he faced off against something that few tennis players want to be up against: a furious Nick Kyrgios. The big Australian lost it during his loss to Nadal, smashing his equipment off the ground and nearly hitting a young attendee.
Nadal has now demanded the ATP take action not only on Kyrgios but against anyone who takes these tantrums during matches. Kyrgios has been a favourite of more rebellious tennis fans due to his outspoken nature and his tempestuous personality. However, even the more rowdy fans are beginning to see his attitude as problematic to his dreams of winning.
Kyrgios came up against Nadal, a 21-times Grand Slam winner, in a match-up in which he had not lost a set at Indian Wells beforehand. Applying the same technique against the Spaniard, though, is not quite as easy as it might first seem. As such, the 26-year-old came unstuck as he could not fluster the veteran, eventually riling himself up to the point where he lost it.
Losing the first set, Kyrgios won the second before losing 7-6 in the decisive third match-up. Fans were treated to a great game of tennis but got even more than they bargained for when Kyrgios went bananas at the end of the match.
Kyrgios, a keen crowd-pleaser who knows how to use an atmosphere to his advantage, smashed his racket in absolute frustration during the match. After he shook hands with the umpire, Kyrgios launched his racket off the ground again – a different racket this time – and it took flight, bouncing up and flying towards a ball boy who was not looking.
What did Rafa Nadal say about Nick Kyrgios smashing his racket?
After the match-up, Nadal was critical of these actions, saying: “These situations are happening more and more often. The ATP should put a stop to this. Otherwise sooner or later something major will happen.”
It is not a good look for the Australian, but fans have long come to accept that he wears his emotions like a badge of honour. In his own response to the incident, Kyrgios did not hold back, saying that it missed the ball boy by “about three metres”. However, he did seek out the youngster to apologise.
On what was annoying him so much during the match, he was picked up having a go at the umpire at the match. During the game, he found himself losing his cool with the crowd and berated the umpire for lack of control, saying: It’s b******t man, the crowd can’t scream things out. You see how it affects players bro. You guys do a terrible job with that. You don’t protect the players from any of that stuff.”
For Kyrgios, then, it is back to the drawing board after yet another energetic, enterprising, and absorbing tournament that ends in an aggressive, emotional exit. For Nadal, it is on to the next round and the chance to play against Carlos Alcaraz, the young Spanish prospect.