Nadal shrugs off Kyrgios' impersonation, Australian says sorry to his own team for 'd***head' behaviour

By Sports Desk January 23, 2020

Rafael Nadal dismissed the antics of Nick Kyrgios after the Australian served up an imitation of the Spaniard at the Australian Open.

After being called out for a time violation when serving in his second-round match against Frenchman Gilles Simon, Kyrgios began acting up as he mimicked some of the between-point twitches Nadal is known to express.

His unspoken point appeared to be that world number one Nadal gets an easy ride from umpires given the time he can take to settle before serving.

Chuntering and flicking at his hair, grabbing at his shorts, Kyrgios' obvious impersonation of Nadal even amused the chair umpire who had issued the time violation.

That was towards the end of the second set, and Simon tried a similar routine in the third when he too was picked up on his time between points, with Kyrgios creasing up in amusement.

Nadal may privately take a dim view, and it might strengthen his resolve to knock Kyrgios out of the tournament should they meet in the fourth round.

They are each a win away from making that head-to-head a reality, and when asked about Kyrgios' conduct, Nadal said: "I really don't care. I am here to play tennis. Honestly, I don't care at all. If [it] was funny, good. That's it."

Kyrgios was asked whether he thought he made his point well to the umpire.

"I know what you're getting at," the Australian said in his post-match news conference.

"That’s part of my motion. So I started my service motion. There wasn't any extracurricular activities I was doing before my serve to waste time. I mean, it happened. That's the ref's discretion whether I went over the clock or not."

Kyrgios then made a revelation after he was asked whether his or Simon's take on Nadal was the better.

"I don't know. I don't wear underwear, so... probably Gilles'," Kyrgios said.

Such behaviour may charge up Nadal for their possible showdown, but it was little more than an amusing aside in a four-set win for Kyrgios.

The 23rd seed knows he must keep his cool in Melbourne, given he received a suspended 16-week ban last September for a series of incidents where his conduct overstepped the line, but he insists that prospect is not on his mind.

"There were a couple times when I went overboard, I think, last year which caused the probation. It's not like I'm doing it every match," Kyrgios said. "No, I'm not thinking about it at all."

Kyrgios was unhappy with himself, however, for aiming a brutal verbal volley towards his team in the players' box after dropping the third set, when he slated their words of support.

According to reports, Kyrgios condemned his team for telling him to "stay tough", twice hurling an expletive their way and sarcastically saying their suggestion was "so creative".

"My behaviour towards my box tonight was not acceptable. In my next match, I don't want to do that," Kyrgios said.

"I was being a bit of a d***head to them. I apologised as soon as I went back into the locker room. They don't deserve that. They do a lot of things for me on and off the court."

Related items

  • Tsitsipas puts slow start to 2020 behind him and clinches second Marseille title Tsitsipas puts slow start to 2020 behind him and clinches second Marseille title

    Stefanos Tsitsipas sealed a stunning defence of his Open 13 Marseille title as he crushed the hopes of Felix Auger-Aliassime.

    The brilliant Greek has endured a rocky start to 2020 but put a run of early-tournament defeats behind him with another success in the south of France, beating Canadian Auger-Aliassime 6-3 6-4 in the final.

    It means that for the second yet in a row, Tsitsipas has run through the Marseille draw without dropping a set, while for Auger-Aliassime the wait for a first ATP singles trophy goes on.

    This setback makes it five defeats in five finals for the 19-year-old Canadian, including a loss to Gael Monfils in Rotterdam last weekend.

    Tsitsipas was highly impressive and the 21-year-old roared in delight when Auger-Aliassime ripped a forehand over the baseline on match point.

    The trophy presentation became a charming love-in between two of the stars of the new generation in the men's game.

    Addressing Auger-Aliassime, who held a 2-1 lead in their head-to-head before this clash, Tsitsipas said: "It's great to be fighting on the court against you.

    "I feel like you make me a better a player. And I hope I make you that too.

    "I would like to congratulate you on a great week. Someone had to win the title - it was a very close match.

    "I've been following you, even when you've not been playing the same tournaments as me.

    "Keep putting in the extra work and I'm sure you can achieve a lot of things in the future which will be very good for our sport and for the younger generations."

    It was a fifth tour title for Tsitsipas, and it seems only a matter of time before Auger-Aliassime begins carrying off the big trophies.

    These two could contest many more finals in the years ahead.

    Auger-Aliassime said: "We've known each other since juniors. It's getting tougher and tougher to play you - we're equal now - two wins each - so it's a great rivalry and a great fight every time against you, but congrats for this one."

  • Mager continues Rio run, Nishioka into Delray Beach final as rain wreaks havoc Mager continues Rio run, Nishioka into Delray Beach final as rain wreaks havoc

    Gianluca Mager upset Dominic Thiem and then moved within reach of a maiden ATP Tour final as rain continued to impact the Rio Open.

    Down a set when forced off on Friday, top seed Thiem failed to stave off a quarter-final loss once play resumed on Saturday.

    Italian qualifier Mager turned his overnight advantage into a 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 victory before again taking to the court later in the day for his semi-final.

    The 25-year-old's opponent, lucky loser Attila Balazs, earlier beat Pedro Martinez 2-6 6-4 6-2 but was left clinging onto a place in the tournament when the rain returned, the Hungarian trailing 7-6 (7-4) 3-3 against Mager.

    The winner will likely face Cristian Garin in the final after the Chilean third seed opened up a 6-4 4-4 lead over Borna Coric in the other postponed semi-final.

    Poor conditions also interrupted the Delray Beach Open, where Milos Raonic was unable to get underway against Reilly Opelka.

    The big servers had their semi-final rescheduled for Sunday and will compete for a spot in the decider against Yoshihito Nishioka, who battled from a set down to defeat Ugo Humbert 1-6 6-4 6-0.

    Nishioka has reached the final despite dropping the opener in three of his four matches at the ATP 250 event.

    "After the first set I just figured out how to play against him and just kept trying to do it and then it worked," he said, as quoted by the ATP Tour.

    "If I lose the first set it's okay, I just figure out how he's going to play, how I have to play against him and then from the second set I say, 'Okay, let's do it this way.'"

  • Hazard injury 'doesn't look good', admits Madrid boss Zidane Hazard injury 'doesn't look good', admits Madrid boss Zidane

    Eden Hazard's availability for Real Madrid's crunch fixtures against Manchester City and Barcelona appears in doubt after Zinedine Zidane admitted his latest injury "doesn't look good".

    The Belgium forward hobbled off in the second half of the 1-0 loss to Levante on Saturday and he could be seen on the bench receiving treatment on his lower right leg.

    Hazard only recently returned from a fractured right ankle so the sight of him appearing to have another problem in the same area was alarming for Zidane.

    Madrid face Pep Guardiola's City in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday before a Clasico date with new LaLiga leaders Barcelona next weekend.

    "It doesn't look good," Zidane told reporters at a news conference.

    "It can become weak where you've had an injury. It is a blow, let's see.

    "It's sore now but we'll see tomorrow when we do more tests."

    It was a thoroughly miserable outing for Madrid as they suffered a surprise defeat thanks to Jose Luis Morales' stunning late effort.

    Madrid drew 2-2 with Celta Vigo at home in their previous outing and they will host Barcelona next Sunday knowing they are now two points behind their great rivals in the title race.

    Captain Sergio Ramos revealed the level of frustration he was feeling in a social media post.

    "We're p***ed off," he wrote on Twitter.

    "But we can't allow our heads to drop.

    "We have to reset now and tomorrow push harder than ever before for a very important week. We're counting on you."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.