‘It’s bulls***’: Kyrgios rages at Nadal
Nick Kyrgios blew up deluxe in his second round loss to Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, accusing the Spaniard of time wasting, not playing within the rules of the sport and also blaming the umpire for not holding the star to account.
The grudge match turned into the thriller everyone was hoping for as temper tantrums and scintillating tennis reigned supreme. Despite Kyrgios's best efforts, Nadal was too strong for the Aussie and emerged victorious in four sets 6-3 3-6 7-6 7-6, getting the better of his rival in two nailbiting tiebreakers to seal the result.
The players don't get along - they've both made that perfectly clear - and Kyrgios was infuriated by his opponent's behaviour as Nadal took the first set 6-3.
During the changeover when down 3-0, Kyrgios complained to umpire Damien Dumusois he wasn't given the chance to challenge a call because the official's eyes were at the other end of the court even though Kyrgios was the only player who would want to go upstairs.
Then Nadal's go-slow tactics made Kyrgios see red. Preparing to serve after his initial rant, Kyrgios was made to wait by the world No. 2, who is notorious for taking up every one of his allotted 25 seconds between points, sometimes even more - compared to the Aussie who prefers a quick game.
"I'm ready to serve, how long are we going to wait? I'm ready to serve the ball," Kyrgios told the umpire as he waited at the baseline.
Kyrgios was still fuming at the next change of ends when he went down 4-1 and his fury extended into the seventh game.
"When he's serving, he's controlling the tempo," Kyrgios said. "Why do I have to wait for my serve? Why am I waiting? Why?
"It's too long between serves, it's bulls***. It's ridiculous," he said.
Kyrgios's rage only increased when Nadal took a toilet break at the end of the first set.
"What is this stuff bro? Play the game, play the game. It's stupid," Kyrgios said. "You guys (umpires) are the worst of the lot, you're so biased. Just kiss up to his bum, it's a joke.
"He takes 40 seconds between every serve, is that within reason? No. So don't tell me to play within reason. He doesn't play within reason.
"It's not fair. This is part of the sport is it? What's happening now is part of the sport?
"I'm serving next and he happens to take a toilet break now. Why?
"What's going on bro? What's going on? It's bulls***."
Kyrgios used his anger to fuel him in the second set, breaking Nadal to take a 3-0 lead.
At 4-3, Kyrgios yelled at Dumusois, telling him to do something about Nadal's time wasting.
"Tell him! Do it then, don't say it, do it! Kyrgios roared. "He's been doing it for 20 years."
Dumusois hit back in the testy exchange, saying he would make decisions when he wanted to, not at the behest of the 24-year-old.
Kyrgios continued to mock the umpire about the "power" he has in his chair before being slapped with a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.
But he put that behind him to level the match by winning the second set 6-3.
KYRGIOS: 'YOU'RE A DISGRACE'
Early in the third set Kyrgios's emotions boiled over when he again took exception to the umpire's decision-making.
"Are you f***ing serious?" he said, before unloading further at the 2-1 changeover. "You're a disgrace.
"You feel entitled just because you're sitting up there and have a job. You're no one. You don't know that. You think you're important, that's the problem.
"You have no idea. You're a disgrace."
Kyrgios's mouth may have been running hot but his head was in the game. Nadal said the Canberra product was a dangerous proposition when he "wants" to play tennis and Kyrgios was certainly up for a fight.
Despite sitting 41 places below Nadal in the world rankings, the firebrand matched everything Nadal threw at him in a thrilling third set, holding serve to send it to a tiebreak.
Nadal secured the mini-break with a forehand winner before winning both his points on serve to go up 4-1, then both players won a point apiece to make it 5-2 on Nadal's serve.
Two points later it was 6-3 and although Kyrgios stayed in the contest on his serve, Nadal closed the set out off his own racquet to win the breaker 7-5 and take a two-sets-to-one lead.
The fourth set followed a similar pattern to the third as neither man was able to break, paving the way for another tiebreak. Nadal took a 3-0 lead and didn't let up, securing a memorable 6-3 3-6 7-6 7-6 win.
BUILD UP OF BAD BLOOD
The Aussie's approach to one of the juiciest matches of the year added another layer of spice to what was already going to be compulsory viewing across the tennis world.
Nadal sensationally accused his rival of being disrespectful when they last clashed in Mexico at the end of February.
The Aussie responded by labelling him "super salty" and also hit out at his uncle Toni, claiming the star's former coach started the bad blood between the two camps.
Nadal's legendary work ethic and humility put him at odds with Kyrgios's brash showmanship and "I won't apologise for anything" mentality, which probably explains why the Canberra product said this week the pair aren't likely to have a beer together any time soon.
"I get along with people, some people I don't get along with," Kyrgios said. "I mean, we have a mutual respect, but that's about it I think."