Rafael Nadal probably gets up just that little bit extra for a Nick Kyrgios showdown.
The Australian, on the other hand, clearly doesn’t get too worked up before facing his Spanish foe.
The two, who have a somewhat sour history, have gone head-to-head on the ATP Tour eight times, with Nadal winning five.
But of the three wins Kyrgios has taken, one of them involved overcoming a big night out and a hangover.
In a podcast with comedian Elliot Loney, who is also a close friend of Kyrgios’, the Aussie tennis star was asked about a huge night in the lead-up to a showdown with Nadal.
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“I remember, you and I, I think we were in Montreal,” Elliot Loney said on his most recent podcast with Kyrgios.
“You’d gone to America, and I think the night before you played Rafa, or two nights before, we had a night out. You, me, and a few other of our mates, and we sent it.
“And you sent it hard, and then I remember being in the hotel room; I was a full-blown foetus, a corpse. I turn on the TV, and there you were on the TV dusting up Rafael Nadal on a hard-court, and I could not believe it.
“I was saying to my mate, I said, ‘I cannot believe Nick is doing this. Not only is he playing one of the best players in the world, and dismantling them, but he was out with us no more than 24 hours ago, off his nut.’
“Like, I don’t understand how you’re able to play tennis at that level after doing that kind of stuff on a night out. Like how do you do it?”
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While neither Kyrgios nor Loney reveals which tournament or match they’re referring to, a straight-sets win back in 2017 in Cincinnati seems the most likely candidate, with the Aussie’s three-set victory in Acupulco in 2019 also an option. The timing doesn’t make a world of sense, given both those match-ups occurred later on in the respective events, but a big night out tends to have that effect on one’s memory.
“We went out, we had a great time,” Kyrgios said. “I’m pretty sure we went pretty hard. And you know, a day-and-a-half later I saw the draw, and you know, I’m like, ‘I’ve got to play Rafa.’
“And I mean nothing changes, you know. I already told you what I think of these players; I don’t give them respect just because of who they are, what they’ve achieved.
“I just went out there and said, ‘Look, I’m going to play big. I can’t really move, I know that I can’t really move because I’m still probably hungover. So I’m going to have to serve really big, and just play super aggressive.’
“And the stars aligned for that night; it’s that simple, really.”
Loney, who still can’t really believe Kyrgios pulled it off, added: “[You] probably had even more than I did and I was a corpse. I was not myself for about three or four days.
“And no more than 24 hours later you’re playing one of the best players in the world, on one of the biggest stages and dusting him up; it’s actually freakish stuff. It’s unbelievable to witness.”
Nick Kyrgios couldn’t get past Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open this year.Source:News Corp Australia
While both Loney and Kyrgios made clear that this wasn’t the norm, the 25-year-old world No. 40 admitted that his antics have “caught up” with him to an extent.
Kyrgios was spotted having a drink at the Dog and Fox past 11pm the night before playing Nadal at Wimbledon on Centre Court last year. The Spaniard took the match in four sets.
“Consistently, I’m not too sure that you can do it,” he said. “But I’ve had a couple times in my career where I’ve somehow pulled it together.
“But consistently, doing it at the top, it’s not possible. That’s for sure. I’ll easily admit that kind of behaviour is not going to be consistent, you’re going to get burnt out and worn down, which I’m okay to say … it has caught up to me a little bit, with my physicality or sometimes not being as consistent, but that’s my choice.”
Originally published asKyrgios got smashed then smashed Rafa
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