What was going through his mind?
Rafael Nadal has condemned Nick Kyrgios’s “dangerous” antics in a bitter post-script to their gripping Wimbledon grudge match.
Kyrgios refused to apologise for slapping a series of scorching forehands straight at Nadal’s body during the Spaniard’s four-set second round win on Thursday.
One in particular late in the third set riled Nadal, who turned back and glared at the Australian, but later rejected a claim he’d cursed Kyrgios in Spanish.
“Why would I apologise?” Kyrgios said.
“I didn’t hit him. Hit his racquet, no? Why would I apologise? I won the point.”
When told it was tennis “convention” to apologise after almost striking your opponent with the ball, Kyrgios was unrepentant.
“Is it? And?,” Kyrgios said, adding that he didn’t care that he’d upset the 18-times grand slam champion.
“I don’t care. Why would I apologise? I mean, the dude has got how many slams, how much money in the bank account?
“I think he can take a ball to the chest, bro. I’m not going to apologise to him at all.
“I was going for him. Yeah, I wanted to hit him square in the chest. Like, he’s got decent hands.”
Nadal agreed he was “professional” enough to deal with Kyrgios’s body shots, but felt slapping balls with such ferocity was also reckless.
“I don’t say Nick does this stuff to bother the opponent, but (it) is true that sometimes he’s dangerous,” Nadal said.
“When he hit the ball like this, (it) is dangerous. (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, 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.
“(If) That ball hits an eye or something like this, (it) is a problem.”