Former Australian tennis player Sam Groth says Rafael Nadal does not like Nick Kyrgios.
Rafael Nadal lost to Nick Kyrgios at the 2019 Mexican Open in a three-set thriller. After winning the first set, the 17-time Grand Slam winner lost to the Australian in the second and the third set on a tiebreaker.
After the defeat, Rafael Nadal was highly critical about Nick Kyrgios. Rafael Nadal said the 23-year-old does not know to show respect to the sport, the opponents and the fans who come to watch him play in the tennis court.
Sam Groth is of the belief the main reason why Rafael Nadal does not like Nick Kyrgios is because of their head-to-head record. Sam Groth also said every tournament would want his countryman because of his unpredictable and entertaining nature.
"I don't think Rafa really likes Nick very much. Nick burst onto the scene beating Rafa at Wimbledon so I think there's probably been something there from day one. To be honest, they're 3-3 head-to-head now and I don't think there are too many guys in the world Nadal would have a 50-50 record against," Groth told Australian radio, as reported by Express.
"He probably just doesn't like it very much. You need guys like Nick to behave like they do and be a little bit of a villain. He puts bums on seats. Every tournament wants him there because he's unpredictable and he's an entertainer," Groth went on to add.
Nick Kyrgios did not hold back to respond to the remarks made by Rafael Nadal about him showing a lack of respect towards the game in general.
"I'm different. Rafa's different. He can focus on what he needs to do. He doesn't know the journey I've been through. He doesn't know anything about me so I'm not going to listen at all," Nick Kyrgios said, as reported by Guardian.
"It's the way I play. It's the way he plays - he's very slow between points and I think that the rule in the book is that you have to play to the speed of the server but Rafa has the speed every time."
"I'm not going to comment on him, his game. I've got my game; he's got his own game. We played well - that's the sport. People are different - I'm not going to take that into consideration at all," Kyrgios added.