Rafael Nadal emerged victorious against Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 but the bad feeling between the two showed no signs of easing in a spicy second-round Wimbledon contest
Nick Kyrgios discovered on Thursday evening that you provoke a champion at your peril as Rafael Nadal husbanded his controlled fury over four engrossing sets to grind down an opponent who had taunted him beforehand as a bad loser and whose tongue later let him down like rarely before.
In a staggering admission, Kyrgios said he deliberately hit a ball at Nadal in the third set. He did not apologise at the time and it did little but lift the fuming Spaniard as he drove on to complete a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3) win in just over three hours in fading light on Centre Court. Victory takes the Spaniard into the third round of a tournament he has won twice and which the outrageously gifted Australian may never win.
What friends Kyrgios won in a hard-fought contest full of rich ground strokes and deft touches at the net not to mention 29 of his belting aces he may just as quickly alienate when they hear and read what he said in a press conference that mixed wit and practised insolence, and which shocked even hardened observers of the players astonishing career.