'Only mutual respect': Kyrgios sets tone for Nadal Wimbledon blockbuster

Nick Kyrgios (AFP)
Nick Kyrgios (AFP)

London - Nick Kyrgios set the tone Tuesday for a Wimbledon blockbuster with bitter rival Rafael Nadal by stating: "We have mutual respect -- but that's about it."

Kyrgios opened his Wimbledon campaign with a 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 7-6 (12/10), 0-6, 6-1 win over fellow Australian Jordan Thompson.

However, all attention was on his second round duel with Nadal after the two-time champion defeated Japanese qualifier Yuichi Sugita 6-3, 6-1, 6-3.

"Not sure that me and Rafa could go down to the Dog and Fox and have a beer together. I don't know him at all. I know him as a tennis player," said Kyrgios.

"I get along with people. Some people I don't get along with.

"We have a mutual respect -- but that's about it, I think."

Nadal and Kyrgios have been involved in a bitter war of words this year since the Australian defeated the 18-time major champion in a stormy clash in Acapulco.

It was the Australian's third win over Nadal in six meetings.

Nadal accused his opponent of "lacking respect" after serving underarm, while Kyrgios described the Spaniard as "super salty" and being his "polar opposite".

Kyrgios then became involved in a slanging match with Toni Nadal, the world number two's uncle and former coach, who lambasted the Australian for his on-court behaviour.

Toni Nadal suggested it was the action of a man who lacks education.

"Bro, I did 12 years at school you idiot –- I'm very educated. I understand you're upset that I beat your family," Kyrgios hit back in an interview.

However, Nadal refused to add fuel to the fire on Tuesday ahead of Thursday's clash.

"Being honest I'm too old for all this stuff. What I said I said. That's all. I'm not a guy who will be in a fight with anybody," he said.

"I will keep doing things I love. After tomorrow I will be back in this amazing place."

Nadal later added: "My thoughts are very clear. I play against a top talent player, very dangerous player when he wants to play tennis. 

"Normally against the best players, he wants to play tennis. When that happens, he's a very dangerous opponent."

Kyrgios admitted he was excited about the chance to prove himself against Nadal.

"I can't wait. As soon as the draw came out, I was super happy that I saw him in my section. 

"When you're a kid, you want to play the best players in the world on I think it's the best court in the world. 

"This is something that I can't take for granted. There's no guarantee I'm going to be here again in this position. 

"Could have an injury or something like that. I'm going to grasp with both hands, go out there, give it my best shot."

Kyrgios, who famously stunned Nadal as a 144-ranked wildcard on his Wimbledon tournament debut in 2014, put in a typically raucous and charismatic display on Court Three on Tuesday.

In a match where he fired 23 aces and 63 winners, the 24-year-old argued with the umpire, slumped over the net and played dead.

He also shaped to imitate a forward defensive cricket shot and celebrated a point by running around madly in a circle.

After dropping the second set, he needed a medical timeout for a leg injury before attempting -- and failing -- to finish the third set with an underarm serve.

He eventually took the set on an eighth set point before conceding an 18-minute fourth set in which he collected just five points.

However, two breaks in a more composed decider settled the tie and set the stage for one of the most anticipated matches of the tournament.

Wimbledon results on Tuesday (x denotes seeding):


1st round

Sam Querrey (USA) bt Dominic Thiem (AUT x5) 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/1), 6-3, 6-0

Andrey Rublev (RUS) bt Christian Garín (CHI) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4

John Millman (AUS) bt Hugo Dellien (BOL) 6-2, 6-3, 6-4

Gilles Simon (FRA x20) bt Salvatore Caruso (ITA) 7-6 (9/7), 6-3, 6-2

Tennys Sandgren (USA) bt Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3

Fabio Fognini (ITA x12) bt Frances Tiafoe (USA) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4

Dan Evans (GBR) bt Federico Del Bonis (ARG) 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3

Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO x18) bt James Ward (GBR) 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 8-6

Ricardas Berankis (LTU) bt Denis Shapovalov (CAN x29) 7-6 (7/0), 6-4, 6-3

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) bt Bernard Tomic (AUS) 6-2, 6-1, 6-4

Nick Kyrgios (AUS) bt Jordan Thompson (AUS) 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 7-6 (12/10), 0-6, 6-1

Rafael Nadal (ESP x3) bt Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 6-3, 6-1, 6-3

Kei Nishikori (JPN x8) bt Thiago Monteiro (BRA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4

Cameron Norrie (GBR) bt Denis Istomin (UZB) 6-2, 6-4, 6-4

Steve Johnson (USA) bt Albert Ramos (ESP) 6-4, 6-2, 6-3

Alex De Minaur (AUS x25) bt Marco Cecchinato (ITA) 6-0, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)

Jan-Lennard Struff (GER x33) bt Radu Albot (MDA) 6-4, 6-3, 6-2

Taylor Fritz (USA) bt Tomas Berdych (CZE) 6-4, 6-4, 6-3

Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) bt Pablo Andújar (ESP) 6-3, 6-2, 6-4

John Isner (USA x9) bt Casper Ruud (NOR) 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (11/9)

Matteo Berrettini (ITA x17) bt Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3)

Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) bt Brayden Schnur (CAN) 6-2, 6-4, 6-4

Dominik Koepfer (GER) bt Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (11/9), 6-1

Diego Schwartzman (ARG x24) bt Matthew Ebden (AUS) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

Lucas Pouille (FRA x27) bt Richard Gasquet (FRA) 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)

Grégoire Barrère (FRA) bt Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3

Jay Clarke (GBR) bt Noah Rubin (USA) 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4

Roger Federer (SUI x2) bt Lloyd Harris (RSA) 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2


1st round

Ashleigh Barty (AUS x1) bt Saisai Zheng (CHN) 6-4, 6-2

Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) bt Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2

Harriet Dart (GBR) bt Christina McHale (USA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) bt Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP x26) 6-4, 6-4

Ivana Jorovic (SRB) bt Lesley Kerkhove (NED) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4

Kaia Kanepi (EST) bt Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 5-7, 7-5, 6-4

Belinda Bencic (SUI x13) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 6-2, 6-3

Serena Williams (USA x11) bt Giulia Gatto-Monticone (ITA) 6-2, 7-5

Kaja Juvan (SLO) bt Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4

Varvara Flink (RUS) bt Paula Badosa (ESP) 6-4, 6-2

Julia Goerges (GER x18) bt Gabriela Ruse (ROU) 7-5, 6-1

Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP x30) bt Samantha Stosur (AUS) 6-2, 7-5

Pauline Parmentier (FRA) bt Maria Sharapova (RUS) 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 5-0 - retired

Lauren Davis (USA) bt Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) 6-3, 6-2

Angelique Kerber (GER x5) bt Tatjana Maria (GER) 6-4, 6-3

Kiki Bertens (NED x4) bt Mandy Minella (LUX) 6-3, 6-2

Taylor Townsend (USA) bt Arina Rodionova (AUS) 6-2, 6-3

Laura Siegemund (GER) bt Katie Swan (GBR) 6-2, 6-4

Barbora Zahlavova (CZE) bt Lesya Tsurenko (UKR x32) 6-3, 6-2

Elise Mertens (BEL x21) bt Fiona Ferro (FRA) 6-2, 6-0

Monica Niculescu (ROU) bt Andrea Petkovic (GER) 2-6, 6-2, 7-5

Tamara Zidansek (SLO) bt Eugénie Bouchard (CAN) 6-3, 5-7, 8-6

Wang Qiang (CHN x15) bt Vera Lapko (BLR) 6-2, 6-2

Sloane Stephens (USA x9) bt Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 6-2, 6-4

Wang Yafan (CHN) bt Tereza Martincova (CZE) 6-2, 7-5

Katerina Siniaková (CZE) bt Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 2-6, 6-1, 6-1

Johanna Konta (GBR x19) bt Ana Bogdan (ROU) 7-5, 6-2

Amanda Anisimova (USA x25) bt Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 6-3, 6-3

Magda Linette (POL) bt Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) 6-0, 7-6 (11/9)

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) bt Vitalia Diatchenko (RUS) 7-5, 6-7 (4/7), 6-2

Petra Kvitova (CZE x6) bt Ons Jabeur (TUN) 6-4, 6-2

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