Rafael Nadal has clarified his comments about Nick Kygios after their recent Acapulco showdown, saying “most of what I said about him was positive”.
The duo met in the last 16 of the Mexican Open last week and Kyrgios came out on top, but there were a lot of talking points as the Australian threw in an underhand serve and also taunted the crowd.
After the match Nadal told the press that Kyrgios “lacks respect”.
“He is a player who has a huge talent could be winning Grand Slams or fight the first position in the ranking,” the 17-time Grand Slam winner said.
“He lacks respect for the public, the rival and himself.”
Kyrgios, naturally, defended himself.
“That’s the way I play. That’s the way he plays, he’s very slow between points and the rule of the book says you have to play at the speed of the server,” he said. “But Rafa has the speed every time. I’m not going to comment on him and his game. I’ve got my game.
Nadal was asked about his remarks ahead of his Indian Wells Masters first-round clash.
“None of you were in Acapulco and most of you wrote about the match. I invited you to watch the press conference,” he said. “I meant what I said, it was in Spanish, some translations are taken out of context. Most of what I said about him was positive.
“I heard Nick put some stuff on his social media. I’m not that young, I don’t check social media every day.
“I don’t feel disrespected by him serving underhand. He is free to do whatever the rules allow him to do.
“I understand this part of the game and I think it’s a good show for the game, but there’s other stuff in my opinion he can do better.
“Everybody is free to do whatever they want, but at the end of the day, in my opinion, he has an impact on the new generation.
“He’s young, he’s a famous player and in my opinion we need to show good values for the kids.”
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