Nick Kyrgios snaps back at his critics in another tetchy press conference
It was just another regular day in the confused and clustered office that Nick Kyrgios chooses to operate in.
His unfathomable five-set win against compatriot Jordan Thompson on Court 3 at Wimbledon offered the now familiar mix of underarm serves, emotional highs and lows and a bizarre fourth set that Kyrgios lost 6-0 as he appeared to be trying to get to 0-40 in each game before trying to come back from the brink.
Somehow, he managed to recover his composure in time to win a deciding set 6-1 and line himself up for a potentially explosive Centre Court clash with Rafael Nadal on Thursday, with Kyrgios suggesting his apparent eagerness to concede a set against Thompson was all part of his master plan.
“If a boxer puts his hands down in a fight, does that mean he’s not trying? Yes, no? What’s that? It means he’s trying or not trying? That my question,” said Kyrgios, as he snapped back at his inquisitor in packed main press conference room at Wimbledon.
“Could be a tactic, couldn’t it? How did the tactic pay off today? Good question,” he sniped before adding: “Oh, this is fun.”
Kyrgios went on to suggest his on-court antics were good for the game, as he hinted some of his rivals should follow his lead and entertain the crowds.
“I think everyone just goes about their business the way they are,” he continued. “I think that the sport has a serious problem with that. I mean, just because I’m different, I go about it a different way, it causes a stir.
“I understand that people are different and people are going to play different. If everyone was the same, it would be very boring, no? I mean, I don’t think there’s a shortage of entertainers. I just think people go about it differently. Different perspectives. I don’t understand why it’s so hard for people to understand that.”
There were nervous sniggers from many in the room as Kyrgios then turned his thoughts to his next opponent Nadal, just a few weeks after he suggested the Spaniard was ‘super salty’ in another feisty press conference.
Kyrgios famously beat Nadal at Wimbledon in 2014 and he is eyeing up a repeat after insisting he relishes the chance to play against the giants of the game.
“Not sure that me and Rafa could go down to the Dog & Fox and have a beer together,” he added, before suggesting his feud with the Spaniard was started after a fiery exchange with Nadal’s uncle Toni.
“I don’t know him (Nadal) at all. I know him as a tennis player. I don’t know him very well. I don’t know what you want me to say to the question.
“I get along with people, some people I don’t get along with. I mean, we have a mutual respect, but that’s about it I think.”
With that Kyrgios left the room grumbling about the questions that had come his way.
Love him or hate him, this maverick of the game cannot be ignored and there is no doubt his re-match with Nadal will be the headline act at Wimbledon on Thursday.
More from Tennis365:
British number one Dan Evans goes out at quarter-final stage at Queen’s Club
But Cameron Norrie books his place in the last eight.
Dan Evans has his run at Queen’s Club ended by Matteo Berrettini
Top seed Matteo Berrettini reached the semi-finals with a 7-6 (5) 6-3 victory.
Exclusive – Tennis needs to build ‘female workforce’ to reach a new audience
Judy Murray wants to see more women participating in tennis at all levels.
Naomi Osaka will not play at Wimbledon but she is preparing to return to the game
Wimbledon is set to begin on June 28 and Naomi Osaka will be missing.
Andy Murray insists his ambition is not dented after compressive defeat at Queen’s Club
The Scot was overpowered 6-3 6-3.
Wimbledon organisers defend online ticket sale amid complaints from fans
Vast majority of those applying had no issues.
Impressive Matteo Berrettini ends Andy Murray’s Queen’s Club comeback
Andy Murray was overpowered by Matteo Berrettini.
‘I’m just pleased to have come through,’ Dan Evans after easing into Queen’s Club last eight
British No 1 secured a two-set win over the Frenchman.
‘The goal is to prolong my career,’ says Rafael Nadal as he withdraws from Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics
Rafael Nadal opts to take an extended.
Rafael Nadal’s Wimbledon withdrawal may be a sign of what is to come
Kevin Palmer on Rafael Nadal’s Wimbledon withdrawal.