Nick Kyrgios accepts offer from Rafael Nadal’s uncle months after being ripped apart

Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios will take his talents to the Mallorca Championships in 2023 despite a spotty history with the tournament’s director, Toni Nadal. Kyrgios was tipped to win the ATP Tour 250 event in 2022 before an abdominal injury forced him to withdraw ahead of his round-of-16 clash against Roberto Bautista Agut.

It appeared to be the right choice given Kyrgios went on to make his major final debut at Wimbledon not long after, finishing second to Novak Djokovic. The decision to play Mallorca next year will come as a surprise to some considering Nadal—uncle of 22-time Grand Slam-winner Rafael—was heavily critical of Kyrgios following his runner-up finish in London.

“In the decisive moments, he was unable to control his anxiety,” Nadal wrote for El Pais at the time. “That, again, degenerated into constant rebukes to his team as if they were to blame for the undesired paths the scoreboard was taking for him.

The Spaniard continued to say a “lack of perseverance” came back to bite Kyrgios in the high-pressure moments. “Nick Kyrgios, with his messy way of understanding the game, is handicapped not so much by what he does with the ball, but by the way he wants to do it,” he continued. “It is very difficult for him to achieve the continuity that requires scoring points. Tennis is a sport of repetition, rather than the spectacular.”

If any bad blood existed between the pair as a result of those comments, it now appears to be a thing of the past. Either that, or Kyrgios is motivated to show Nadal first-hand just how effective he can be against top-tier competition.

After enjoying a hugely successful grass-court campaign earlier this year, Kyrgios will be inspired to top those achievements in 2023. The outspoken star has backed himself as the ‘best player in the world’ on grass in the past, though only by winning Wimbledon could he validate such a statement.

The 27-year-old recently issued an ‘open invitation’ to any player in the world who felt they could beat him, hoping to organise an exhibition match in Australia for early 2023. The tennis season will begin anew in Australia in January, when he’ll hope to advance beyond the fourth round in Melbourne for the first time since 2015.

Kyrgios is currently preparing to compete in the inaugural World Tennis League event in Dubai next month. The firebrand is due to face Djokovic and Felix Auger-Aliassime in the singles portion of the team-format contest, which gets underway on December 19.

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