Everyone knows that there is not exactly good blood between Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios. Although the Spanish champion leads 5-3 in the head-to-head balance, the Australian has almost always managed to give him a hard time creating balanced and exciting battles.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion didn't always appreciate Kyrgios' behavior and the two spared no criticism, especially after their match in Acapulco last year. During a recent podcast with friend and comedian Elliot Loney, Nick recalled having celebrated all night before tackling the former World number 1.
The (non explicit) reference should be to Kyrgios' victory over Nadal at the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati in 2017. The Majorcan won the last two direct fights in four sets, staged respectively at Wimbledon 2019 and the Australian Open 2020.
Kyrgios: 'I’m still probably hungover'
“And you sent it hard, and then I remember being in the hotel room; I was a full-blown foetus, a corpse. I turn on the TV, and there you were on the TV dusting up Rafael Nadal on a hard-court, and I could not believe it," Loney recalled.
“I was saying to my mate, I said, ‘I cannot believe Nick is doing this. Not only is he playing one of the best players in the world, and dismantling them, but he was out with us no more than 24 hours ago, off his nut...Like, I don’t understand how you’re able to play tennis at that level after doing that kind of stuff on a night out.
Like how do you do it?" Loney marveled. Nick Kyrgios for his part didn't deny the story, and added a few interesting comments of his own. “We went out, we had a great time,” the Australian told Loney. “I’m pretty sure we went pretty hard.
And you know, a day-and-a-half later I saw the draw, and you know, I’m like, ‘I’ve got to play Rafael Nadal.’ I just went out there and said, ‘Look, I’m going to play big. I can’t really move, I know that I can’t really move because I’m still probably hungover.
So I’m going to have to serve really big, and just play super aggressive," Kyrgios concluded. Kyrgios is only the third player, after Dominik Hrbaty and fellow Australian Lleyton Hewitt, to have beaten Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic the first time he played each of them.
Nick has a reputation as a talented but mercurial player, who frequently gets into trouble for his on-court conduct. On August 15, 2019, Kyrgios was fined $113,000 for his conduct at the Cincinnati Masters; the fine set an ATP record.