Facing each other for the sixth time, Nick Kyrgios scored his third win over the world no. 2 Rafael Nadal following a thrilling 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 triumph in three hours and three minutes and three match points he saved in the deciding tie break!
Heading to Acapulco with troubled knees and just five matches on his tally in 2019, Nick has found some extra gear to score two wins and reach the quarters where he will face Stan Wawrinka, although Rafa had the encounter in his hands twice.
Leading 6-3, 4-4, a former champion wasted four break points that could have pushed him closer to the finish line, also spending no less than five break points at 3-2 in the decider and extra three match points at 6-3 in the tie break, dropping the last five points to propel Nick into the last eight.
Rafa had 39 winners and 17 unforced errors while Kyrgios counted to 58-49, firing bullets from his serve and forehand to keep points on his racquet and forge the win somehow against all the odds. Nadal lost just four points on serve in the opening set and he brought it home with a break in game six after a poor volley from Nick.
Four winners at 5-3 were enough to send Nadal in front after 34 minutes and he had those chances in the ninth game of the second set when Kyrgios elimination. Fighting for every point, the Aussie fired four winners to repel break points and stay in the match, building the momentum and winning the tie break 7-2 after early mini-breaks, which would prove to be crucial for the final result.
Rafa sailed through his service games in the last set as well (he faced a single break point in the entire match!) and it just wasn't to be for him, wasting no less than five break chances in the sixth game (four with winners) but creating those three match points in the tie break after a volley winner.
Nick saved the first two with direct points and the Spaniard squandered a huge chance on the third, keeping the opponent in the match and hitting a double fault in the worst possible moment to move the rival 7-6 up. Kyrgios sealed the deal in the 14th point when Nadal's backhand landed long, celebrating one of the biggest wins of his career and advancing into the last eight where he will face Stan Wawrinka in another mouthwatering clash.
Rafa was not pleased with Nick's behavior on the court, the underarm serve and the fact he spends almost no time between serves, leaving him unprepared for the returns. The crowd booed the Aussie after the last point and the handshake between the players was anything but friendly as well.
“He’s a player who has enormous talent, could be winning Grand Slams or fighting for the No. 1 ranking,” Nadal said. “He lacks respect for the crowd, his opponent and towards himself. I don’t think he’s a bad guy, but he lacks a little respect for the public and the rival. I don't think he's a bad guy, but he lacks a little respect for the public and the rival”.