Nick Kyrgios is not willing to offer an apology for attempting to hit Rafael Nadal with a ball during this intense second-round Wimbledon on Thursday.
Kyrgios aimed a forehand at Nadal, who was able to deflect it with a his racket and glared back at Kyrgios. Things did not further escalate, and Nadal went on to win 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5) 7-6 (3).
Kyrgios brought that fire to his postgame news conference where he admitted to attempting to hit Nadal with the ball, while refusing to apologize for it.
“Why would I apologize? I mean, the dude has got how many Slams, how much money in the bank account?” Kyrgios said, according to ESPN UK’s Rob Bartlett. “I think he can take a ball to the chest, bro. I’m not going to apologize to him at all.”
Nadal stated that he was more concerned for the safety of the crowd.
“I don’t say Nick does this stuff to bother the opponent, but [it] is true that sometimes he’s dangerous. When he hit the ball like this, [it] is dangerous,” Nadal said. “[It] is not dangerous for me, [it] is dangerous for a line referee, dangerous for a crowd. When you hit the ball like this, you don’t know where the ball goes.
“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, [it] 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 have been dangerous moment for the line umpire. That ball hits an eye or something like this, is a problem. That’s it.”
Kyrgios aired his issues with the umpire, who he called “horrendous”.
“I’m serving, I’m like starting my routine. Rafa said, ‘Stop.’ The rule is like, ‘Play to the speed of the server.’ Why do I have to wait for him to get into his rhythm every time?” Kyrgios said. “I got angry at the ref. He’s like, ‘No, I’ll tell him what I want to tell him.’ I was like, ‘Oh, a little bit of a power trip there.’ He obviously feels pretty important sitting up in the chair. He was just terrible. I thought the way he handled the match was just bad.”