- Rafael and Nadal meet on Thursday, July 5 at Wimbledon
- The pair’s differences increase
- Both players put their honor on the outcome of the game
Following the Acapulco game earlier this year, Nadal and Kyrgios haven’t been on the best of terms with their differences exacerbating recently.
Nadal and Kyrgios Early Matches
With Wimbledon now kicking out in full gear, the rivalry between Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios seems to be nowhere near over. The pair first met back at Wimbledon in 2014 where the then 19-year-old Kyrgios bested Nadal.
If you still wonder how significant that event was, young Kyrgios made history by becoming the first player out of top 100 to pry away a victory from the world’s first. Well, the first to do so in the 22 years leading up to Wimbledon 2014.
Kyrgios new that he had been lucky against the Spaniard back in 2014. A rematch at the Rome Masters proved that theory, with Nadal dominating on clay. Madrid brought another disappointment for the young professional who had lost for a second time.
A rivalry began to shape up when the pair met in China with a controversial ruling not granting Kyrgios a break in the opening game, with the Australian wasting quite a bit of time trying to catch up to Nadal. While China was a defeat for Kyrgios, both tennis players seemed to be composed about it.
Falling Out in Acapulco
Then, the pair met again in Acapulco, Mexico in February. What transpired then was the beginning of an ungentlemanly rivalry. With Kyrgios complaining about illness and getting a second wind, the Australian went on to defeat Nadal with a several underarm serves. Kyrgios left Acapulco victorious, winning not only the game against Nadal, but also the title.
Moving on, Nadal was the one to assume a hostile stance against Kyrgios to some extend. Responding to comment on what the Spaniard thought about Kyrgios’ assessment of his own game, Nadal said that Kyrgios knew very little about him or the game. This was the first spark that went on to become a wildfire. The Aussie responded:
“When he wins it’s fine, he will credit the opponent but as soon as I beat him he has no respect for me, my fans or the game.”
Toni Nadal, Rafael’s trainer also got involved, calling the Australian “uneducated”, which only ignited the conflic. Kyrgios simply responded that he had 12 years of school and that there was no need for Toni Nadal to call him “uneducated” when his only sin has been to beat Rafael in an open tennis match.
None of the athletes have tried to mend fences and they seem to be growing less respectfu by the minute. Yet, such flare-ups between professional playrs are a common sight and they usually die out on their own.
For better or for worse, ego is always getting in the way. On the plus side the game between Rafael and Nick promises to be definitely something spectacular to behold. Just a few hours are left now.