Nick Kyrgios actually wanted to hit Rafael Nadal “square in the chest” after smashing a forehand into the Spaniard during his Wimbledon loss
It was a close match but Nadal got the better of Kyrgios once again with a hard-fought 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3) during the second round of Wimbledon.
However, a blasted forehand into the Spaniard was the talk of the match as it seemed to annoy the 18-time grand slam champion. Kyrgios decided not to apologise for the incident and simply claimed the point as if it was what he intended to do.
The 24-year-old had many pressured encounters with Nadal in the past, and the accumulation of their rivalry showed as he stood by his decision not to apologise.
“Why would I apologise? I mean, the dude has got how many slams? How much money in the bank account?” the Australian told a news conference.
“I think he can take a ball to the chest, bro. I’m not going to apologise to him at all.”
Asked if he aimed at Nadal, Kyrgios responded: “Yeah, I was going for him. Yeah, I wanted to hit him square in the chest. Like, he’s got decent hands.”
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 5, 2019
Nadal, who will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round, accused Kyrgios of playing dangerously by hitting the blistering forehand.
“Honestly, it’s not about what I feel or what I don’t feel. Honestly, it’s about we are in a game that the history of this sport is about respect and is about playing fair during the whole time,” he said.
“I don’t say Nick does this stuff to bother the opponent, but it’s true that sometimes he’s dangerous. When he hit the ball like this, it’s dangerous. It’s not dangerous for me, it’s dangerous for a line referee, dangerous for a crowd. When you hit the ball like this, you don’t know where the ball goes.
Nick Kyrgios – you ok mate? 😳 pic.twitter.com/qP0oiJ3quP
— BBC Tennis (@bbctennis) July 4, 2019
“I know he’s a big talented player, but I am a professional player, too. I know when you hit this kind of ball, the ball can go anywhere. This time the ball went in, almost hit me, no problem. I am professional, so I know how to avoid this.
“But another one, the ball goes straight to the back. So [it could] have been a dangerous moment for the line umpire. That ball hits an eye or something like this, it’s a problem. That’s it.
“It’s not about I am angry about him at all. It’s about I want to play a match of tennis. Sometimes it’s difficult.”