The 19-year-old Nick Kyrgios stunned Rafael Nadal in the 2014 Wimbledon fourth round, delivering bold and brave tennis to introduce himself to the tennis world. In Acapulco 2019, the Aussie saved match points against the Spaniard and caused Nadal's bitter reactions, as he was not happy about Nick's behavior on the court.
Nadal prevailed over Kyrgios at Wimbledon 2019 and the Australian Open 2020, two high-level encounters without notable tensions between two rivals. While admitting he is not Nadal's biggest supporter, Nick is honest about Rafa's achievements and everything he has accomplished throughout his career.
Rafa claimed the 20th Major title at Roland Garros last October, and Nick was mighty impressed by his numbers and domination in Paris. Taking nothing away from Nadal, Kyrgios said the Spaniard might be the greatest player of all time ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Nick Kyrgios said Rafael Nadal might be the greatest player of all time.
Arriving in Paris with only three matches since March, Nadal delivered his ordinary Roland Garros magic for the 13th time from 16 trips to the French capital, winning the title without losing a set and matching Roger Federer's Major record.
Nadal got broken eight times in seven matches, standing strong against every rival and enduring all the challenges from the quarter-final round to lift the trophy. In the final, Nadal toppled world no. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 41 minutes, outplaying Novak completely in sets one and two and staying focused in the closing stages of the third to seal the deal and earn one of the most notable victories of his career.
"It's unbelievable. I was not surprised when I saw Rafa pretty much easing through the French Open; that's his backyard. He loves playing there, and I think he's lost two matches there in his entire career. Honestly, I do not think we will ever see anything like that again; someone so dominant on one surface and right there with the greatest of all time.
You can argue he is the greatest player ever. We had our differences when we played against each other. We are fiery; we are competitors and are going to go after each other. At the same time, I'm not going to take anything away from him.
Rafa is an absolute champion and a winner of 20 Majors, which is ridiculous; I do not think we will ever see that again," Nick Kyrgios said.