Tennis

Australian Open | Kyrgios ‘super-excited’ to face Nadal

Fired up: Kyrgios, given his off-the-court verbal duels against Nadal, will be keen to have the final say on Monday.

Fired up: Kyrgios, given his off-the-court verbal duels against Nadal, will be keen to have the final say on Monday.   | Photo Credit: GREG WOOD

The two have had ‘super salty’ verbal battles before

Nick Kyrgios said it was “pretty damn cool” to be playing Rafael Nadal for a place in the Australian Open quarterfinals, predicting a physical battle against “a hell of a player”.

The two men have had a running feud since the outspoken Australian called Nadal “super salty” and his “polar opposite” last year after the Spaniard complained he “lacks respect”.

“I don’t really dislike him. I don’t know him at all. Hell of a tennis player. Don't know him as a person. I'm sure he’s okay,” said Kyrgios, adding that there was “a layer of respect” between them. “I'm super-excited, honestly. Playing one of the greatest tennis players on centre court at your own Slam, it’s pretty damn cool.

“Obviously, it’s going to be another physical battle. Nothing comes easy with him. He had a relatively routine (third round) match, so he’s going to be feeling good. I'm looking forward to it. That’s why you play, I guess.”

Nadal earlier gave a cool response when asked whether he liked Kyrgios.

“When he does stuff that in my opinion is not good, I don't like,” said the 19-time Grand Slam winner. “When he plays good tennis and he shows passion for this game, he is a positive player for our tour.” The pair have faced each other seven times before, with Nadal holding a 4-3 advantage.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 7:45:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/australian-open-kyrgios-super-excited-to-face-nadal/article30659714.ece

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