Rafael Nadal receives video-chat invite from long-time foe Nick Kyrgios

  • Rafael Nadal received a video chat invite from Nick Kyrgios, despite their tempestuous past.
  • Nadal recently had a video chat with Federer that went viral, and another with Kyrgios could be even more popular.
Modified 05 May 2020, 03:00 IST

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal, the King of Clay and 19-time Grand Slam champion, is currently cooling his heels at home owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But he has now got an offer that could spice things up - a chance of going face-to-face with a familiar foe not named Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic.

The Spaniard, like most professional tennis players, hasn't picked up a racquet since the cancellation of the Indian Wells Masters 1000 tournament. Nadal recently had a video chat with his good friend and arch-rival Roger Federer on Instagram, which went viral.

Following that 'successful' video conversation with Federer, Rafael Nadal has now received a video-chat invite from an unexpected source: Nick Kyrgios.

The tempestuous history between Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal

A teenage Nick Kyrgios stunned Rafael Nadal in the 2014 Wimbledon fourth round
A teenage Nick Kyrgios stunned Rafael Nadal in the 2014 Wimbledon fourth round

The combustible and mercurial Australian famously beat Rafael Nadal in the 2014 Wimbledon fourth-round as a teenager. He also saved match points against the Spaniard in a tense third round match at Acapulco last year, before going on to clinch the win.

Rafael Nadal leads the Aussie 5-3 in the head-to-head, and the duo have never been on cordial terms. The Spaniard once accused Kyrgios of being disrespectful, saying:

"He lacks a little respect for the public, for his rival, and also for himself. He could win Grand Slams and fight the top positions of the ranking, but there is a reason why he is where he is."

Unsurprisingly, that earned a fiery response from the 25-year-old.

"When he wins it’s fine, he will credit the opponent but as soon as I beat him he has no respect for me, my fans, or the game," Kyrgios said.

The Australian also took exception to the suggestion that he was too quick between points, and turned it around by accusing Nadal of being too slow.

"He doesn't know me, so I'm not going to listen at all. That's the way I play. The way he plays, he's very slow between points," Kyrgios said.

Rafael Nadal's long-time coach and uncle Toni Nadal got involved too, and he sided with his nephew while blasting Kyrgios for 'a lack of education'. In response, the Australian got a tad personal when he remarked:

"Bro, I did 12 years at school you idiot – I’m very educated. I understand you’re upset that I beat your family."

That said, the tension between the two players has seemed to subside in recent times. Rafael Nadal was effusive in his praise of Kyrgios at Wimbledon last year, where he beat the Australian in four sets.

The frosty relationship between Nadal and Kyrgios could be thawed even further after BBC Sport tweeted pictures of the two, while questioning if a real Facetime call was possible. Kyrgios replied to the tweet in the affirmative via a story on Instagram.

It remains to be seen if Nadal accepts the video-chat request from Kyrgios. There has been no response from the Spaniard in this regard so far.

If the 19-time Grand Slam champion does go on to have a video conversation with Kyrgios, it would continue the recent trend of such interactions between tennis superstars. But this one would be different - because both Nadal and Kyrgios know how to take digs at each other.

Published 05 May 2020, 03:00 IST
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