Question that left Kyrgios speechless

 

Superstars Roger Federer, Serena Williams and defending champion Angelique Kerber were in action at Wimbledon on Thursday evening, but Nick Kyrgios overshadowed them all.

First for his explosive temper, then for his tennis.

The Aussie's grudge match against Rafael Nadal was slated as must-watch tennis and the pair didn't disappoint, putting on the most entertaining display of the tournament so far on the biggest stage of all - Centre Court at the All England Club.

RELATED: Kyrgios rages at Rafa

Nadal won in four sets to progress to the third round, getting one up on the scoreboard after the pair traded verbal barbs this year, first with Nadal accusing Kyrgios of being disrespectful and secondly when Kyrgios branded the Spaniard "salty".

The clash was absorbing and just like he captivated the crowd, Kyrgios had the attention of a packed interview room during a raw press conference that provided plenty of talking points.

QUESTION THAT LEFT KYRGIOS SPEECHLESS

A long-held opinion of Kyrgios is he has all the talent to be a major winner - Nadal said as much after the match - but not the mindset. Asked if he hopes one day everything clicks for him on the court, rather than saying yes straight away - as most professionals would - he admitted he didn't have an answer.

"It's a tough question. I don't know," he said after a lengthy pause. "I kind of like … I don't know. I don't really have an answer to that question at the moment. Sorry," he said.

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ENTERTAINER OR WINNER?

Kyrgios said he played a great match and was just beaten by the better man on the day, but said winning grand slams isn't on his radar.

Reporter: I was wondering if matches of that kind of high quality where you're playing so well, looking so up for it, inspire you to want to do that all the time, go for slams, whether you believe you can win them, or if you're happy entertaining?

Nick Kyrgios: Yeah, I mean, I know what I'm capable of. Just depends. I'm a great tennis player, but I don't do the other stuff. I'm not the most professional guy. I won't train day in, day out. I won't show up every day. So there's a lot of things I need to improve on to get to that level that Rafa brings, Novak (Djokovic), Roger (Federer) have been doing for so long. Just depends how bad I want it. But no, at the moment I don't think I can contend for a grand slam.

Australia's Nick Kyrgios wipes his face during a change of ends. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Australia's Nick Kyrgios wipes his face during a change of ends. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

'I DON'T CARE': KYRGIOS WON'T SAY SORRY

Nadal looked absolutely filthy when, at 30-30, 4-4 in the third set, he advanced to the net and copped a brutal return from Kyrgios straight at the body. He couldn't get out of the way and after receiving the heavy hit, glared at the Aussie for what seemed like an eternity, waiting for an apology.

None was forthcoming, and Kyrgios had no regrets about deliberately aiming for the 33-year-old's chest, as this exchange with a reporter shows.

Reporter: Do you regret not apologising for hitting him with the ball in the third set?

Nick Kyrgios: Why would I apologise?

R: That's the convention, isn't it?

Kyrgios: Of what?

R: Of tennis.

Kyrgios: Is it?

R: If you hit someone with the ball.

Kyrgios: I didn't hit him. Hit his racquet, no? Why would I apologise? I won the point.

R: He didn't look too pleased.

Kyrgios: And?

R: You seemed to wind him up.

Kyrgios: I don't care. Why would I apologise? I mean, the dude has got how many slams, how much money in the bank account? I think he can take a ball to the chest, bro. I'm not going to apologise to him at all.

R: Did you aim it straight at him?

Kyrgios: Yeah, I was going for him. Yeah, I wanted to hit him square in the chest. Like, he's got decent hands.

NICK RESPONDS TO RAFA CONTROVERSY

Kyrgios fumed about Nadal taking too long to get ready between points, saying it was "bulls***" and demanding the umpire do something to speed up the game.

But he had cooled down by the time he fronted the world's media and had a more measured outlook on the situation.

"No, he was super quick," Kyrgios responded sarcastically when asked if he was frustrated at the pace with which Nadal was playing, before being quizzed on whether more needs to be done to speed up matches.

"I'm just high maintenance at times. I mean, it's tough. He's one of the greatest of all times, so he's probably got a little leeway, I guess."

THE UMPIRE WAS 'HORRENDOUS'

It was no secret to anyone watching Kyrgios was fed up with chair umpire Damien Dumusois as he lambasted him for failing to make Nadal play faster, missing challenges and being on a "power trip".

"The umpire today was horrendous. I mean, he was terrible," Kyrgios said.

"I'm serving, I'm like starting my routine. Rafa said, 'Stop'. The rule is like play to the speed of the server. Why do I have to wait for him to get into his rhythm every time? I got angry at the ref. He's like, 'No, I'll tell him what I want to tell him'.

"I was like, 'Oh, a little bit of a power trip there'. He obviously feels pretty important sitting up in the chair.

"He was just terrible. I thought the way he handled the match was just bad."

MEDIA NEEDLES NICK

Asked if he likes coming to press conferences, Kyrgios's answer wasn't just dripping with sarcasm, it was smothered in it as he made his feelings on the media perfectly clear.

"I love 'em, bro. I love 'em. I love 'em. I love 'em. I love the media. Like I love doing the media," he said. "You guys are so nice to me. It's amazing. Like you guys are the best.

"You don't brainwash anyone. Seriously, you don't brainwash anyone. It's always facts. Love it."

DID PUB VISIT COST KYRGIOS?

Props to the brave journalist who used the first question of the presser to ask whether Kyrgios's trip to a pub near the Wimbledon precinct the night before his match cost him a chance of victory.

"No. You look way too excited to ask that question. You must have a really boring life," he said.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR AUSSIE WILD CHILD?

Although he's not entirely sure yet, Kyrgios suggested a trip to his house in the Bahamas looks pretty appealing right now.


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