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HomeNewsNick Kyrgios disappointed after Rafael Nadal withdraws at Wimbledon, anxious about final

Nick Kyrgios disappointed after Rafael Nadal withdraws at Wimbledon, anxious about final

LONDON — Nick Kyrgios said he felt “disappointment” when
he first heard Rafael Nadal had withdrawn from their
Wimbledon men’s singles semifinal, then managed only one
hour of sleep on Thursday night and was “a reckless ball of
energy” as he processed the news.
Nadal withdrew from their semifinal with an abdominal injury,
meaning Kyrgios will contest his first-ever Grand Slam final on
Sunday against No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic.
Kyrgios on Friday said he was hoping for a “third chapter”
after going 1-1 in two previous matches against Nadal at
Wimbledon.
“My energy was so focused on playing [Nadal] and tactically
how I’m going to go out there and play, the emotions of
walking out there, all that type of stuff,” said Kyrgios, who
said he learned of Nadal’s decision while he was eating
dinner Thursday.

“But, you know, it wouldn’t have been easy for him to do that
[withdraw]. … He barely lost a match this year. He wanted to
probably go for all four. So it wouldn’t be easy. I hope he gets
better.”
Now Kyrgios’ attention has shifted to the men’s final against
Djokovic on Sunday, with him saying that he was “super
proud” of himself and that he “never thought” he’d make a
Grand Slam final.
“I had a shocking sleep last night, though, to be honest,”
Kyrgios said. “I probably got an hour’s sleep just with
everything, like the excitement. I had so much anxiety. I was
already feeling so nervous, and I don’t feel nervous usually.
He added: “I was just restless. So many thoughts in my head
about a Wimbledon final. That’s all I was thinking about. I
was thinking just [about] playing, obviously imagining myself
winning, imagining myself losing. Everything. … I feel like I’m
just a reckless ball of energy right now. I just want to go out
on the practice court now and hit some tennis balls and just
talk. I don’t know. I want it to come already. Yeah, I want the
final to come already.”
Kyrgios has twice beaten Djokovic in matches, and they have
also previously clashed off the court. However, they have
grown closer since Kyrgios supported Djokovic at the start of
the year when he was deported from Australia in advance of
the Australian Open.
After his semifinal win, Djokovic praised Kyrgios for getting to
the final, saying “this is where he needs to be, and he
deserves to be.”

“We definitely have a bit of a bromance now, which is weird,”
said Kyrgios, who added that Djokovic sends him direct
messages on Instagram. “I think everyone knows there was no
love lost for a while there. I think it was healthy for the sport. I
think every time we played each other, there was hype around
it. It was interesting for the media, the people watching, all
that.
“I felt like I was almost the only kind of player and someone
to stand up for him with all that kind of drama at Australian
Open. I feel like that’s where respect is kind of earned — not
on the tennis court, but I feel like when a real-life crisis is
happening and someone stands up for you.”
That has been rare in Kyrgios’ instance, especially with his
fellow Australians.
Kyrgios said that Lleyton Hewitt, who was the last Australian
men’s player to reach a Slam final at the 2005 US Open, is
one of the few Australian former pros to show him any
support.
“The kind of only great that’s ever been supportive of me the
whole time has been Lleyton Hewitt,” said Kyrgios, who said
that he hit with Hewitt earlier in the tournament. “Like, he
knows. He’s our Davis Cup captain, and he kind of knows
that I kind of do my own thing.”
Prior to his quarterfinal match, news broke that Kyrgios was
being summoned to a court in Canberra, Australia, next month
to face a charge of common assault. He has twice been fined
this fortnight — first for spitting in the direction of a spectator
after his first-round win, then again for an “audible obscenity”
in the third round vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas. He overcame a
shoulder injury in the fourth round.
Earlier in the tournament, he was criticized by famed
Australian Pat Cash, the 1987 Wimbledon champion, for
bringing “tennis to the lowest level I can see as far as
gamesmanship, cheating, manipulation, abuse, aggressive
behavior to umpires, to linesmen” during an appearance on
BBC radio.

“I mean, look, as for the greats of Australian tennis, they
haven’t always been the nicest to me personally,” Kyrgios
said. “They haven’t always been supportive. They haven’t
been supportive these two weeks. So it’s hard for me to kind
of read things that they say about me. … I’m definitely the
outcast of the Australian players.
“It’s pretty sad because I don’t get any support from any of the
other Australian tennis players, the male side. Not the players,
but like the past greats. It’s weird they just have like a sick
obsession with tearing me down for some reason. Like, I just
don’t know whether they don’t like me or they’re, like, afraid. I
don’t know. I don’t know what it is. But it sucks, because if it
was roles reversed, if I saw [Alex] De Minaur in a final, or if I
saw Jordan Thompson or Thanasi [Kokkinakis], I’d be
pumped. I’d be stoked. I’d be having a pint watching, going
nuts.”

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