Infotainment Factory: Kyrgios' astonishing crack at Nadal, Djokovic

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Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Kyrgios' astonishing crack at Nadal, Djokovic


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Nick Kyrgios has shredded Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and other tennis rivals in an incredible interview.

Kyrgios branded Spanish legend Nadal a "super salty" sore loser who was partly responsible for turning fans against him, and also called his long-time coach, Uncle Toni, an "idiot".

He claimed that Djokovic "has a sick obsession with wanting to be liked", blasted his "cringeworthy" post-match celebrations, and said that the Serb would never surpass Roger Federer as the greatest player in tennis history, despite predicting he would win more Grand Slams than the Swiss icon.

Kyrgios was speaking with New York Times tennis writer Ben Rothenberg on the No Challenges Remaining podcast. It was an absorbing and wide-ranging 50-minute discussion, yet his unfiltered opinions on other players were utterly remarkable.

He called fellow Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis his "brother", said Federer was the undisputed G.O.A.T. and spoke fondly about Andy Murray; yet ripped the Scotsman for not winning more Grand Slams, claiming that he was a "so much better" player than Djokovic and that his record against the world No.1 was "embarrassing".

Kyrgios also revealed that he now gets on with Swiss major winner Stan Wawrinka, but still considers the "Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend" sledging scandal to be "hilarious" (though he would never do it again). And his fiercest words were reserved for Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco.

"Verdasco drives me nuts, man. That guy ... I don't even want to talk about it," Kyrgios said.

"It gets me so vexed, I'm like angry now that I just hear that name. He's the most arrogant person ever.

"He doesn't say hello, he thinks he's so good, he thinks he's God's gift. Dude, your backhand's pretty average and let's be honest, you hit a ball over a net.

"Guy's like that, they drive me insane. There's no humility there, there's no perspective, it's just like, 'I'm here, I'm so cool, I'm unbelievable because I hit a ball over the net. Do this for me, do this for me, I won't say hello to you, I'm too important'. Guys like that. See how angry I'm getting? It kills me. He just rubs me the wrong way."

His observations on Nadal, a 17-time Grand Slam winner, and Djokovic, who has 15 majors, were dynamite. Here they are in their entirety.

NADAL

"Hmm, this is dangerous. He’s my polar opposite, like literally my polar opposite. And he’s super salty.

"Every time I’ve beaten him ... when he wins, it’s fine. He won’t say anything bad, he’ll credit the opponent, ‘He was a great player’. But as soon as I beat him, it’s just like, ‘He has no respect for me, my fans and no respect to the game’. And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? I literally played this way when I beat you the other precious times and nothing changed, nothing changed. When you beat me in Rome here a couple of years ago, nothing changed; I was the same person’.

"It’s not a good look for you, I feel. And then Uncle Toni came out saying, ‘He lacks education’. I’m like, ‘Bra, I did 12 years at school, you idiot. I’m very educated. I understand that you’re upset I beat your family again’.

"But I’m not going to be the same as Nadal. We do things so differently, why can’t we just accept that? You know what you’re walking into when we walk out there. Don’t wait until you lose a match to say things.

"When I say something after I play him, it’s not going to get noticed as much. But when he says something, it’s like that’s the only thing that matters. They’re like, ‘Oh yeah, he must be right. This guy must lack education, he must lack respect’.

"And you’re asking me why I do things and why I go back at fans in the crowd. And that’s why. These guys show me no respect. None. So why would I show you respect? For instance, when I’m taking matches, I don’t care that you paid for tickets. You guys treat me like crap anyway. Rafa gets me vexed, as well."

DJOKOVIC

"I just feel like he has a sick obsession with wanting to be liked. He just wants to be like Roger. For me personally - I don’t care right now, I’ve come this far - I feel like he just wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him.

"This whole celebration thing that he does after matches, it’s like so cringeworthy. It’s very cringeworthy.

"He’s an unbelievable player, he’s a champion of the sport; one of the greatest we’ll ever see. He probably will, honestly, I reckon he will get the Grand Slam count, I reckon he will overpass Federer.

"We're talking about a guy who pulled out of the Australian Open one year because it was too hot. No matter how many Grand Slams he wins, he will never be the greatest for me. Simply because I've played him twice and like, I'm sorry, but if you can't beat me, you're not the greatest of all time. Because if you like look at my day-to-day routine and how much I train and how much I put in, it's zero compared to him.

"For me, Federer will always be the greatest of all time, hands down. What he's done on all surfaces. What Rafa's done as well is pretty scary. He's won how many Roland Garroses? Eleven. He adapted his game to grass as well, which is pretty crazy.

"Djokovic, again, just rubs me the wrong way. He always says what feels like he needs to say; never speaks his opinion.

"These guys, they're not bad guys, but him especially ... the celebration just kills me. Every time he does the celebration it just kills me. Honestly, that's what I'm doing next time: if I play him and beat him, I'm doing his celebration, in front of him. That would be hilarious, right?"

Nick Kyrgios has shredded Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and other tennis rivals in an incredible interview.

Kyrgios branded Spanish legend Nadal a "super salty" sore loser who was partly responsible for turning fans against him, and also called his long-time coach, Uncle Toni, an "idiot".

He claimed that Djokovic "has a sick obsession with wanting to be liked", blasted his "cringeworthy" post-match celebrations, and said that the Serb would never surpass Roger Federer as the greatest player in tennis history, despite predicting he would win more Grand Slams than the Swiss icon.

Kyrgios was speaking with New York Times tennis writer Ben Rothenberg on the No Challenges Remaining podcast. It was an absorbing and wide-ranging 50-minute discussion, yet his unfiltered opinions on other players were utterly remarkable.

He called fellow Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis his "brother", said Federer was the undisputed G.O.A.T. and spoke fondly about Andy Murray; yet ripped the Scotsman for not winning more Grand Slams, claiming that he was a "so much better" player than Djokovic and that his record against the world No.1 was "embarrassing".

Kyrgios also revealed that he now gets on with Swiss major winner Stan Wawrinka, but still considers the "Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend" sledging scandal to be "hilarious" (though he would never do it again). And his fiercest words were reserved for Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco.

"Verdasco drives me nuts, man. That guy ... I don't even want to talk about it," Kyrgios said.

"It gets me so vexed, I'm like angry now that I just hear that name. He's the most arrogant person ever.

"He doesn't say hello, he thinks he's so good, he thinks he's God's gift. Dude, your backhand's pretty average and let's be honest, you hit a ball over a net.

"Guy's like that, they drive me insane. There's no humility there, there's no perspective, it's just like, 'I'm here, I'm so cool, I'm unbelievable because I hit a ball over the net. Do this for me, do this for me, I won't say hello to you, I'm too important'. Guys like that. See how angry I'm getting? It kills me. He just rubs me the wrong way."

His observations on Nadal, a 17-time Grand Slam winner, and Djokovic, who has 15 majors, were dynamite. Here they are in their entirety.

NADAL

"Hmm, this is dangerous. He’s my polar opposite, like literally my polar opposite. And he’s super salty.

"Every time I’ve beaten him ... when he wins, it’s fine. He won’t say anything bad, he’ll credit the opponent, ‘He was a great player’. But as soon as I beat him, it’s just like, ‘He has no respect for me, my fans and no respect to the game’. And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? I literally played this way when I beat you the other precious times and nothing changed, nothing changed. When you beat me in Rome here a couple of years ago, nothing changed; I was the same person’.

"It’s not a good look for you, I feel. And then Uncle Toni came out saying, ‘He lacks education’. I’m like, ‘Bra, I did 12 years at school, you idiot. I’m very educated. I understand that you’re upset I beat your family again’.

"But I’m not going to be the same as Nadal. We do things so differently, why can’t we just accept that? You know what you’re walking into when we walk out there. Don’t wait until you lose a match to say things.

"When I say something after I play him, it’s not going to get noticed as much. But when he says something, it’s like that’s the only thing that matters. They’re like, ‘Oh yeah, he must be right. This guy must lack education, he must lack respect’.

"And you’re asking me why I do things and why I go back at fans in the crowd. And that’s why. These guys show me no respect. None. So why would I show you respect? For instance, when I’m taking matches, I don’t care that you paid for tickets. You guys treat me like crap anyway. Rafa gets me vexed, as well."

DJOKOVIC

"I just feel like he has a sick obsession with wanting to be liked. He just wants to be like Roger. For me personally - I don’t care right now, I’ve come this far - I feel like he just wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him.

"This whole celebration thing that he does after matches, it’s like so cringeworthy. It’s very cringeworthy.

"He’s an unbelievable player, he’s a champion of the sport; one of the greatest we’ll ever see. He probably will, honestly, I reckon he will get the Grand Slam count, I reckon he will overpass Federer.

"We're talking about a guy who pulled out of the Australian Open one year because it was too hot. No matter how many Grand Slams he wins, he will never be the greatest for me. Simply because I've played him twice and like, I'm sorry, but if you can't beat me, you're not the greatest of all time. Because if you like look at my day-to-day routine and how much I train and how much I put in, it's zero compared to him.

"For me, Federer will always be the greatest of all time, hands down. What he's done on all surfaces. What Rafa's done as well is pretty scary. He's won how many Roland Garroses? Eleven. He adapted his game to grass as well, which is pretty crazy.

"Djokovic, again, just rubs me the wrong way. He always says what feels like he needs to say; never speaks his opinion.

"These guys, they're not bad guys, but him especially ... the celebration just kills me. Every time he does the celebration it just kills me. Honestly, that's what I'm doing next time: if I play him and beat him, I'm doing his celebration, in front of him. That would be hilarious, right?"

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