Nick Kyrgios speaks out on Rafael Nadal snub at Australian Open
Nick Kyrgios rallies during training in Australia
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Nick Kyrgios has responded to Channel 9’s “unexpected” move to snub Rafael Nadal for his doubles match with Nick Kyrgios. The host broadcaster for the Australian Open left the 2009 champion’s quarter-final match to show the Australian wildcards face the sixth seeds in their own last-eight clash.
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis have been the players to watch at this year’s Australian Open, joining forces in the doubles draw after receiving a wildcard.
Having already dispatched world No 1 pair Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in the second round, they defeated the 15th seeds to reach the quarter-final against sixth-seeded pair Tim Puetz and Michael Venus.
By 3-3 in the first set, the ‘Special Ks’ were the main showpiece on Channel 9, as the official broadcast channel for the Australian Open made the decision to boot Nadal’s 14th quarter-final match in Melbourne off the TV in favour of their home favourites.
The current world No 115 and 103 in singles have been pulling in huge crowds all week, feeding off the energy and riling the fans up, which resulted in Mektic and Pavic’s fitness trainer “threatening to fight” the pair in the gym after their match on Friday.
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The former world No 13 had already claimed that ratings were up thanks to his doubles antics with Kokkinakis, but was surprised to discover they had been favoured over 20-time Grand Slam champion Nadal and world No 14 Shapovalov.
“Nadal is hell of a player. That’s unexpected, I wouldn’t expect that,” he said, upon finding out the Special Ks were chosen over Nadal on Channel Nine.
“Shapo, Shapovalov and Nadal are two probably of the best players in the world right now. He’s one of the most exciting younger guys as well.”
Explaining the reason he thought their match could have had more appeal, he added: “But, I mean, I think the level of entertainment I think is different I think.”
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Kokkinakis agreed that it was easier to feed off the crowd’s energy in doubles, but commended his partner for having the ability to do the same on the singles court.
“It’s kind of easier in doubles you can feed off each other a bit. Singles is a lot more serious,” he added.
“Nick makes it the other way, which is unbelievable and tough to do especially when you’re playing in a real competitive environment.
“But I think having us to feed off each other, we can just talk rubbish in between points, look at our box, we have a comedian in the box so we talk rubbish to him as well. Yeah, we just have fun out there.”
After attracting hoards of fans both on the court and on TV, Kyrgios also said he was hoping to boost the sport with his entertaining doubles matches.
“I think this Australian Open I think with everything the people have gone through, they just are just so happy to see Aussies have success. Demon in the fourth round, us kind of carrying the flag in doubles a little bit,” he said, speaking on the home crowd.
“This Aus Open, honestly, I think for us it’s more about the people, playing for them is more important than our doubles success. We haven’t drawn up any goals of what we want to achieve this year in doubles.
“I just want to play and give the people of Australia and the Australian Open a show and genuinely try and grow the sport of tennis. That’s why I’m playing. I know Thanasi is just enjoying it. This is the most fun we’ve ever had on the court.”
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