Australian Open 2020: Kyrgios 'shattered' to lose but appreciates 'champion' Nadal

By Sports Desk January 27, 2020

Nick Kyrgios conceded he was "shattered" to have a lost his tense fourth-round match against Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open, but spoke of his appreciation for the world number one.

Amid an apparent softening of relations between the two rivals, Nadal praised Kyrgios in his on-court interview after winning a close encounter 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4) in three hours and 38 minutes.

Having overcome a worthy opponent, Nadal said the 24-year-old could contend at any tournament if he maintains his level of performance.

The scoreline was the same as when he beat Kyrgios at Wimbledon last year, but the Australian felt he was much closer to securing an upset victory this time.

"I mean, I appreciate it," Kyrgios said when he was asked about Nadal's comments.

"I've known that for the last four years but the trouble for me is being able to actually just produce the same attitude over and over again. Hopefully I can keep doing it. I'm just taking it day by day, trying to be positive, just bring positive vibes.

"Rafa was really good. Played too good. The court was really, really slow. I just couldn't get a ball past him. 

"I was trying to serve and volley, trying to dropshot. Eventually I would have to win the point three times to win a point. That's just the champion he is, the player he is. 

"He makes you play the extra ball. He played well, considering how slow [the court] was. He served really well, hit his backhand slice really well. He just played the bigger points better than I did.

"I'm shattered to have lost. Obviously these are the matches that I want to win the most. I had chances. I was a couple of points away from the third set and the fourth set.

"It felt a lot closer this time, especially in the 5-5 game in the third set where I was at deuce a couple times. He played some unbelievable points. I felt like if I got that third set, I would have really, really been on top of him.

"I was kind of feeling the match turn a little bit. If I break in that game, I thought I was going to raise my intensity, my energy. I definitely felt a lot closer this time around. The one at Wimbledon, I felt like I wasn't playing as good."

Kyrgios has been pleased with his progress on and off the court over the past month after an emotional period where he inspired fundraising efforts for the bushfire crisis in Australia.

And his tournament is not yet over with a mixed doubles campaign alongside Amanda Anisimova ongoing.

Kyrgios added: "Overall all this summer has been fun. My focus shifts to mixed now.

"I just want to go out there and have fun. I'm still in the tournament. I'm not going to take it for granted, another day at the Australian Open.

"I think I'm playing better tennis than I was [in making the 2015 quarter-finals]. You look at my draw back then to the opponents I played this time around, probably a lot tougher this time.

"I felt good. I actually felt fresh. I was ready to go five if it needed to get there.

"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."

Related items

  • Sinner eases past Duckworth, Millman earns Zverev clash Sinner eases past Duckworth, Millman earns Zverev clash

    Jannik Sinner raced past lucky loser James Duckworth in the first round of the Cologne Championships, where John Millman booked a meeting with top seed Alexander Zverev. 

    French Open quarter-finalist Sinner took just 61 minutes to seal a 6-1 6-2 victory against Duckworth, who replaced Hubert Hurkacz after the Pole withdrew due to food poisoning. 

    The 19-year-old Italian reached a career high 46 in the rankings following his exploits at Roland Garros and cruised past Duckworth after fending off two break points in a 12-minute game at 2-2 in the second set. 

    Sinner will go up against qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert in round two after the Frenchman defeated Tennys Sandgren 6-3 3-6 6-3 at the ATP event on Tuesday. 

    Zverev defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime in the final of last week's tournament in Cologne and will begin his bid for a second straight title against Millman after the Australian overcame Fernando Verdasco 6-4 6-2. 

    At the European Open in Antwerp, Alex De Minaur came from a set down to defeat veteran Richard Gasquet 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3. 

    When serving for the set in the second set, Gasquet produced an unforced error following a reactive backhand from De Minaur. He then double faulted at 5-5 in the tie-break and the Australian eighth seed dished out the ultimate punishment. 

    Federico Coria stepped in after Kei Nishikori withdrew due to a right shoulder injury and the Argentinian was comfortably beaten 6-2 6-3 by Pablo Andujar. 

  • Gauff defeats home hope Siniakova in Ostrava opener Gauff defeats home hope Siniakova in Ostrava opener

    Coco Gauff defeated home favourite Katerina Siniakova in straight sets to advance to the second round of the Ostrava Open.

    Teenager Gauff, who made the main draw after a pair of wins in qualifying, fought back from a break down three times in the opening set and went on to triumph 7-5 6-4.

    A meeting with third seed Aryna Sabalenka is the next task for the American, who has won just two of her past seven matches on the WTA Tour.

    Elena Rybakina has reached a Tour-leading five finals in 2020 but the eighth seed fell to a 6-2 3-6 6-3 defeat to the measured Daria Kasatkina.

    Kasatkina played an intelligent, efficient match and had 15 winners to 14 unforced errors, while Rybakina had 35 to 49.

    Veronika Kudermetova's 6-2 6-4 victory over Donna Vekic booked a second-round meeting with Karolina Pliskova, while there were also wins for Jennifer Brady and Ons Jabbeur.

  • Tiafoe & Johnson spring first-round shocks Tiafoe & Johnson spring first-round shocks

    Frances Tiafoe shrugged off his first-round loss at the Sardegna Open with a successful hard-court return, beating sixth seed Dusan Lajovic at the European Open.

    The American had lost to Corentin Moutet on the clay in Italy but was back to form in Antwerp in only his second meeting with the Serbian.

    Lajovic won their previous encounter at Indian Wells in 2017 but Tiafoe saved two set points in the second set to prevail 6-3 7-6 (8-6) and progress to the second round.

    Tiafoe was not the only player to knock out a seed on the ATP Tour on Monday, as his compatriot Steve Johnson claimed victory over Marin Cilic at the Cologne Championships.

    Johnson spurned four set points as the opener was sent to a tie-break. However, he prevailed in the shoot-out and then broke the ninth seed to love in the first game of the second.

    Cilic never threatened to break back as the 2014 US Open champion slipped to a surprise defeat.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.