Kyrgios vs Nadal: “Most watched match of all time”
Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal are set to face each other in the semifinals at Wimbledon this Friday, but Nadal’s health is in question.
This Friday, the semifinals at Wimbledon will feature two tennis stars who make headlines left and right. Fiery and hot-tempered Nick Kyrgios and calm and collected Rafael Nadal are set to face each other in a historic clash that is sure to bring in big audiences. Kyrgios himself predicts it will be the “most-watched match of all time”, in fact.
Kyrgios vs Nadal: A historic clash
Today, everyone knows Kyrgios’ name. Controversies, social media drama, mental health battles, allegations of assault, verbal attacks on umpires, fans, etc...before all of that, eight years ago, when few knew who 19-year-old Nick Kyrgios was, he came to Wimbledon at No. 144 in the world, and beat No. 1 Rafa Nadal. Nadal got his revenge in 2019 when he beat Kyrgios in four sets in the second round at Wimbledon.
“We’ve had some absolute battles on that center court,” Kyrgios said. “He’s won one against me, and I’ve won one against him.”
“Two completely different personalities. I feel like we respect the hell out of each other, though. I feel like that would be a mouth-watering kind of encounter for everyone around the world.
“That would probably be the most-watched match of all time. I would argue that.”
Kyrgios’ first grand slam semifinal
In 2014, Kyrgios lost the quarterfinal to Milos Raonic at Wimbledon. In 2015, he lost the quarterfinal to Andy Murray at the Australian Open. He will now finally have his chance at a semifinal in 2022 after eliminating Cristian Garin, 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7-5).
The 27-year-old has probably brought in even more viewers since his antics on the court and now he’s been summoned to face a trial for assault against his ex girlfriend, Chiara Passari, on August 2 in Australia.
“Obviously, I have a lot of thoughts and a lot of things I want to say, you know, kind of my side about it, but obviously I’ve been advised by lawyers that I am unable to say anything at this time,” Kyrgios said. “Obviously seeing it, I’m only human…it was hard to kind of just focus, you know, on kind of the mission at hand.”
Nadal’s health in question
Unfortunately for everyone, though, Nadal’s health is in question. During his quarterfinal match against Taylor Fritz, Nadal was experiencing extreme pain in his abdomen. He was apparently being urged by family members to withdraw.
“They told me I need to retire the match, yeah,” Nadal said. “For me, it is tough to retire in the middle of the match, even if I had that idea for such a long time. I did it a couple of times in my tennis career, but it is something that I hate to do. So I just keep trying, and that’s it.”
Nadal and Fritz were 6-6 in the fifth set, but Nadal came back to win the Super Tiebreak at a thrilling 10-4. Novak Djokovic faces Cameron Norrie in the other semifinal, so the winner will face either Nadal or Kyrgios, which would also be sure to pull in huge audiences. We may not get the chance to see it though, as Nadal’s status remains unknown.
“I don’t know. We’re going to have some more tests. It’s difficult to know.,” said Nadal. “I’m used to pain and playing with problems. I know when I feel something, but it’s nothing new, I’ve had those feelings for a couple days but today was the worst day.”
Though it’s true that Nadal has been spending years now playing through different kinds of pain and injuries, he admitted that his health is more important than a third title.
“Honestly, I can’t give you a clear answer because if, tomorrow, another thing happens, I will be a liar,” said Nadal. “Something more important than winning Wimbledon, is health. Let’s see how this goes.”