"I'm shattered to have lost tonight," Nick Kyrgios had said after the match to Rafael Nadal was all said and done. It might have been toomuch for the Aussie to have even gone on the duration of three hours and 38 minutes.
He played it tough and gritty with Nadal to get the best of him with smashes and cross courts. But Kyrgios' consisteency was lagging and the end result was Nadal winning the match 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6. The Spaniard icon grabbed the opening set 6-3 and might have gotten too self-confident, for it was the Aussie who came back with a vengeance, smashing serves and blasting balls cross court pushing Nadal out of position.
He'd gotten renewed energy and was able to win the second set 6-3. Nadal and Kyrgios were both playing extremely well in the third set with it coming to a tiebreak. Kyrgios came into the match emotionally spent due to the helicopter crash which killed ex-basketballer Kobe Bryant.
The Aussie had worn his jersey into the stadium and his beginning of the match wasn't exceptional at all. It was soon that he was able to shake off the tearfulness and played well in the third set, bashing shots into the tiebreak.
It was Nadal though that came up and put the set away for the victory. The fourth set was the deal as Kyrgios' performance got a bit slack perhaps feeling the effects of a more than four hour match with Karen Khachanov the night before.
Nadal played in perfection and seemed to know the recipe for overpowering Kyrgios to gain points. It wasn't long that the two warriors met at the net to shake hands with Nadal the victor. Later Kyrgios explained Nadal's talents saying "Rafa was really good.
Played too good...He makes you play the extra ball...I was trying to serve and volley, trying to dropshot..." Kyrgios struggled at some points to just keep up with Nadal and with others, took advantage for a smash or dynamic cross court.
The Aussie explained his feelings on his own game saying "It felt a lot closer this time...He played some unbelievable points. I felt like if I got that third set, I would have really, really been on top of him."
Nick Kyrgios at times can be realistic and down-to-earth. He evaluated his performances and said "I feel like I've made progress as a human. A tennis player, I don't really care about as much, but I feel good and for sure I want to keep going in this direction."