Rafa Roundup: When and why did Nick Kyrgios change his mind about Rafael Nadal?

(Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

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“What will happen in the future? I don’t know what will happen. Obviously there will be a time when this is all over, because this has an expiration date. But I like to keep doing what I like as long as it is possible. Doubts do not bother me. In the end they are logical and I am the first to have them.

“I think they help you stay awake and improve: when you have doubts it means that you are not so sure of yourself, and therefore do more to seek that security.”

On Wimbledon he added: “As for London, the heart would say play, the mind would say rest. Without doubt, it is better to play in this way than with pain. It is a theme that cannot be prolonged over time: having won the title [at Roland Garros], it is clear that it was worth it.”

The rivalry between the big three players in world tennis has probably driven each to greater heights than they might have achieved separately, and they have each set standards for consistency and longevity that may never be equalled. Mr Nadal’s style of play may not have the sublime elegance of Mr Federer but in his words and actions, he has shown the grace of a true champion. Tennis fans should treasure his remaining years (or months) of action.

In the past, Nadal’s extended matches have featured epics like the US Open against Thiem, or Wimbledon versus Delpo. This time around, in the wake of the most turbulent clay season of his entire career and bad luck wiping out his chances at winning any Masters events, 2022 has been about winning ugly in the brutal Australian heat, marveling at how an elite level is accessed after not having experienced a fifth set on Chatrier in nine years, or turning on the jets to run away with a final after having already logged 11 hours on court against top 10 opposition. Has Nadal been better in victory? The answer has arguably never been such a clear yes, and yet he’s never been more impressive.

In an interview with Ultima Hora, the Australian Open double champion was asked which Big 3 champion is GOAT. “I think it’s Rafael Nadal. He now has 22 Grand Slams and the other two, 20,” Kyrgios told the publication.

Last March, Kyrgios said on his No Boundaries podcast if Nadal reclaimed Roland Garors this year, there can be no doubt he is the one, true GOAT. “If Nadal wins Roland Garros he will undoubtedly be the best of all time,” Kyrgios said then. “If he wins 22 Grand Slams, he has the crown.”

Social media related to Rafa:

Steve Fink: “That was almost a reversal of psyches this time. Last year, Novak was really enjoying himself. There were times he was smiling and there was a positive energy to him. Rafa was fretting a bit. This time, I thought that Djokovic seemed kind of negative, irked by the crowd while Rafa was terrific.”

12 comments

  1. Does anyone care what Nick Kyrgios has to say? He was so disrespectful to Rafa that he should apologise. He’s lucky to even be on the court with him. He’s a class act and well NK just isn’t

    • I certainly don’t care what Kyrgios has to say. He is a total embarrassment to Australia who have always had sportsmen and sportswomen who are a credit to themselves and their country. I wish he would learn some manners and keep his mouth well and truly shut!

  2. Rafa is the GOAT of tennis. Even Federer saying that too.
    Congrats on 14th RG and 22GS title. But I do smell a 23rd title coming his way.
    VAMOS Rafa No 1 always.

  3. Rafa has been and still is the best tennis player I have ever seen…he is also a decent man that all ….especially children can look up to. I hope he plays forever….but father time has a way of telling you…Enough….whenever he’s done…he’ll have left a Big footprint and gap…Vamos!!!! El Rey de Clay!!!

  4. NK has no credibility here. His disrespect to Rafael Nadal has, at times, been really ugly. Some find NK
    entertaining, and forgive his antics. But if you respect the game, he is just a clown. That does not deny that he has talent, but it is wasted.

    • I saw a clip of Fed vs NK where Roger served an ace then NK challenged it. Audio got Fed words saying, ” this circus needs a clown” 😆

  5. I wish you all the best for the future and also hope the treatment work for you rafa 👍 all my love to you and your family rafa ❤

  6. I don’t really care what NK has to say.
    Stay well and enjoy life, Rafa.❤️ You will be missed dearly when it’s time.

    • Mimi, if the treatments are successful, I feel Rafa will find a balance to continue enjoying and playing his beloved tennis. I am waiting to hear from him about his expectations and future. Sending him a gazillion good lucks.

      With the “racquets” [draw] stacked against Rafa, HE STILL HELD UP THAT 14th Coupe des Mousquetaires.

      • Hi Margo,

        I think you are right. Hoping things work out for our champ.🍀❤️

        Amazing!!! Rafa is truly the greatest competitor and the most humble champion.🤩😍

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