Nick Kyrgios makes defiant Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal comment – ‘I love that’
Nick Kyrgios has issued a defiant comment about his matches against Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The world No 37 is enjoying the best season of his career, winning a Grand Slam doubles title in Australia, reaching a Grand Slam singles final at Wimbledon and notching a second career win over a world No 1 this week, where he spoke about his matches against two of the men often regarded as the ‘GOATs’.
Kyrgios reached the quarter-finals of the Montreal Masters this week, upsetting top seed and defending champion Daniil Medvedev en route. It was just the second time in his career that he beat a world No 1, with his only previous victory coming over Nadal at Wimbledon in 2014 when he was a teenage wildcard ranked at world No 144.
Following his 6-7(1) 6-4 6-2 win over Medvedev, the 27-year-old reflected on his other big wins, including the six he has over the Big Three, and made a daring comment about his matches against Federer and Nadal in particular, claiming he enjoyed being the villain against the two former world No 1s.
“I don’t care if people don’t like me and the style of tennis I play. I understand that,” he said during his run at the National Bank Open. The former world No 13 admitted it was once tough to get caught up in his public image but now enjoyed taking on the Federer and Nadal-loving crowds.
He continued: “It’s been a bit easier for me to navigate through that now. I just stopped really caring, to be honest. I love the fact that I’m playing Roger or Rafa and 95 per cent of the fans are going for them. I love that. I actually really love that.”
The Aussie was denied the chance for another meeting with Nadal at Wimbledon recently, after the 36-year-old was forced to pull out on the eve of their semi-final having picked up a 7mm abdominal tear.
Nick Kyrgios started the North American swing by winning nine matches in a row
Nick Kyrgios gives frosty interview after Hubert Hurkacz defeat
And he could now be one of Nadal’s biggest challengers at the upcoming US Open after enjoying a successful start to the North American hard-court swing and winning nine matches in a row. Kyrgios lifted his seventh singles title in Washington last week before reaching the quarter-finals in Montreal.
The Aussie will now head to Cincinnati, where his only chance to face Nadal will come in the final after the pair were placed in separate halves of the draw. The Spaniard will be competing for the first time since pulling out of Wimbledon, and could reach world No 1 with a title victory thanks to Kyrgios’ victory over Medvedev.