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#pounditSaturday, August 8, 2020

Nick Kyrgios not apologizing for trying to hit Rafael Nadal with ball

Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios is not apologizing for trying to hit Rafael Nadal with a ball during their match at Wimbledon on Thursday.

Nadal received a difficult draw in the tournament, which included playing the talented yet volatile Kyrgios in the second round. Rafa prevailed in four sets 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6, but the match did not come without plenty of drama.

Kyrgios twice out-witted Rafa with underhand serves, taking advantage of Nadal playing so far behind the baseline to return his serves, and won both points. He was held up by the umpire when he wanted to serve at times due to Nadal not being ready.

Then in the third set, the real drama occurred. Nadal was serving at 4-4 up 40-15 and approached the net following a short return by Kyrgios. His approach shot put Kyrgios in the corner, and rather than go cross court, up the line, or try a lob, Kyrgios just whacked the ball directly at Rafa.

Nadal was nearly hit by the fireball but got his racket up to block it. He glared at Kyrgios afterwards to express his displeasure with the unsportsmanlike act.

After the match, Kyrgios admitted he was aiming for Nadal and said he wouldn’t apologize for doing so.

“Why should I apologize? Dude’s got how many slams? How much money in the bank? I think he can take a ball in the chest. I’m not going to apologize to him at all. I was going for him, yeah. I wanted to hit him square in the chest,” Kyrgios said.

Nadal said that such a shot was dangerous because when you hit the ball that hard, you don’t necessarily know where it’s going and it could hit a fan, umpire, or ballperson on the court.

The two have a negative history. Kyrgios upset Nadal at Wimbledon five years ago. He also beat Nadal in Acapulco earlier this year. After the loss, Nadal said Kyrgios was an underachiever who lacks respect.

“He is a player who has huge talent, who could be winning Grand Slams or fighting for first position in the rankings,” Nadal said. “He lacks respect for the public, the opponent and himself.”

Kyrgios dismissed the comments, saying Nadal was salty.

Aiming for Nadal on a shot and not apologizing straight up shows Kyrgios’ disrespect. The spirit of the sport isn’t to try and nail your opponent with the ball, but to hit it past them for a winner. It’s these types of actions and worse that have earned Kyrgios his negative reputation on tour and among the fans.

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