Nick Kyrgios disagrees with Rafael Nadal Grand Slam assessment


Kyrgios was beaten by Nadal (Picture; AFP/Getty Images)

In the immediate aftermath of one of the best matches of the season, Rafael Nadal heaped praise on Nick Kyrgios.

‘He was a tough opponent,’ the 18-time Grand Slam champion said. ‘When he wants to compete, he’s one of the toughest opponents you can face.

‘It was an important victory for me, sometimes it’s tough to see a couple of things on court. It’s amazing how good he is able to play, so if he is able to forget all these things, he’s potentially a Grand Slam winner.’

Although he’s not always seen eye-to-eye with the 24-year-old Aussie, Nadal was impressed with the level of performance from the world No. 46.

Once tipped as a guaranteed Grand Slam winner – a man Billie Jean King described as having ‘more talent in his little finger nail than just about anyone I have ever seen’ – Kyrgios has struggled to kick on, reaching just two quarter-finals at majors.

Yet, on his day, he remains one of the most thrilling watches on the ATP Tour and he pushed tennis great Nadal all the way in a pulsating encounter.

Kyrgios and Nadal fought hard (Picture: Getty Images)

But any hopes Kyrgios would have a thirst for more success after such a fabulous contest may be premature and he disagreed with his opponent’s assessment that he could go on to win majors.

‘Yeah, I mean, I know what I’m capable of,’ he said. ‘Just depends. I’m a great tennis player, but I don’t do the other stuff. I’m not the most professional guy. I won’t train day in, day out. I won’t show up every day.

‘So there’s a lot of things I need to improve on to get to that level that Rafa brings, Novak, Roger have been doing for so long. Just depends how bad I want it.

‘But, no, at the moment I don’t think I can contend for a Grand Slam.’

While Nadal is in no doubt about Kyrgios’ deep talent reserves, he pointed out other areas the 24-year-old needs to improve in in order to truly compete on the biggest stages.

Will Nick Kyrgios fulfil his potential? (Picture: Getty Images)

‘If, if, if. Doesn’t exist. As I said plenty of times, he’s a very top, talented player,’ Nadal added. ‘But there is a lot of important things that you need to do to become a champion, no? He has a lot of good ingredients.

‘But, of course, remain an important one sometimes, and that is the love, the passion for this game. Without really loving this game that much, is difficult to achieve important things.

‘Anyway, with his talent and with his serve, he can win a Grand Slam, of course. He has the talent to do it. Is true that things can be completely different for him if he wants to play all the matches the same way that he try today.

‘But if you see the first round against Jordan Thompson, he was able to win the match, but the intensity on court, the way that he played, the way that he was focused, was different than today.

‘He likes to play these kind of matches. But to win important things, you don’t need to play against the top players, you need to play against another players that they are so good, too. You need to win that matches.’





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