Nick Kyrgios went down screaming and kicking to Rafael Nadal at Indian Wells Masters.
In a match featuring obscenities, underhand serves, a point penalty and smashed racquets, Nadal defeated Nick Kyrgios.
The Spaniard improved to 19-0 this year, the third-best start to a season since 1990.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) March 17, 2022
After the post-match handshake, Kyrgios walked to his seat and smashed his racket on the court. It bounced up and away, nearly striking a ball boy standing at the back of the court. Kyrgios walked off to a mix of boos and cheers.
“It landed a meter from my foot and skidded and nearly hit him,” Kyrgios said.
“I’m human. Things happen like that. Obviously it was a very misfortunate bounce. I think if I did that a million times over it wouldn’t have gone that way.”
Early in the second set, the chair umpire scolded a man in the stands who repeatedly yelled, “Nick! Nick!”
The umpire said, “Ten thousand people want to watch tennis and you’re the only one screaming.” The man piped down. Later, the umpire told the crowd not to yell out between first and second serves.
Tied 3-all in the second set and serving at 40-love, Kyrgios served an underhanded ace to go up 4-3. They stayed on serve until Kyrgios broke Nadal in the 12th game.
Nadal’s drop shot caught Kyrgios by surprise and the Australian let loose with an F-bomb during the point.
At 2-2 in the third, Kyrgios engaged with a spectator sitting next to actor Ben Stiller.
“Why are you speaking?” Kyrgios asked the fan. He then pointed to Stiller and said: “Do I tell him how to act? No.”
The Australian double-faulted on game point to trail 4-3. Kyrgios held to lead 5-4, but Nadal closed out the 2-hour, 46-minute match by serving a love game.
He set up match point with a 116-mph ace and then hit a forehand winner off a short ball.
“He played a few points well and he got out of it and that’s what he does,” Kyrgios said. “That’s what makes him great.”