Sam Groth has revealed why he thinks Rafael Nadal took aim at Nick Kyrgios after the young Aussie’s stunning upset win in Mexico.
Kyrgios shocked the tennis world by beating Nadal in a tight three-setter at the Mexican Open on Wednesday in Acapulco.
However the high-quality spectacle didn’t translate into positive words from Nadal.
There were several flashpoints in the match, but Nadal appeared most incensed when Kyrgios attempted an underarm serve in the third set, when the World No.2 was standing miles behind the baseline.
It prompted Nadal to say in a post-match media conference that Kyrgios should be fighting for grand slams and the No.1 ranking but “lacks respect for the crowd, his opponent and towards himself”.
The fact that Nadal would blow up just because of one underarm serve seemed like a stretch, and now Groth has revealed there’s more to the story.
The retired Aussie player reckons Nadal simply spat the dummy because of the tough time Kyrgios has given him over the years.
Kyrgios famously sent Nadal crashing out of Wimbledon in 2014, bursting onto the world scene as a 19-year-old.
And Groth thinks the Spaniard has had sour grapes ever since.
“I don’t think Rafa really likes Nick very much,” Groth told RSN radio on Monday.
“Nick burst onto the scene beating Rafa at Wimbledon so I think there’s probably been something there from day one.
“To be honest, they’re 3-3 head-to-head now and I don’t think there are too many guys in the world Nadal would have a 50-50 record against.
“He probably just doesn’t like it very much.”
‘He doesn’t know anything about me’
Responding after Nadal’s comments, Kyrgios seemed non-plussed.
“I’m different. Rafa’s different. He can focus on what he needs to do,” Kyrgios said.
“He doesn’t know the journey I’ve been through.
“He doesn’t know anything about me so I’m not going to listen at all.
“I’m not going to comment on him, his game. I’ve got my game; he’s got his own game.
“We played well – that’s the sport. People are different – I’m not going to take that into consideration at all.”