'Never seen that': Nick Kyrgios 'loses the plot' in Indian Wells drama

Nick Kyrgios, pictured here handing the first set to Rafa Nadal with a point penalty.
Nick Kyrgios handed the first set to Rafa Nadal with a point penalty. Image: Amazon Video

Nick Kyrgios left the tennis world stunned on Thursday after unravelling on a number of occasions in his quarter-final loss to Rafa Nadal at Indian Wells.

Kyrgios handed the first set to the Spanish champion in shocking fashion after making a red-hot start against the World No.4.

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Kyrgios was up 5-3 and cruising against the 21-time grand slam champion when things went very wrong for the Aussie.

Nadal managed to claw his way back into the set and sent it to a tie-breaker, where Kyrgios coughed up the set in comical scenes.

Serving at 0-6 in the breaker, Kyrgios was riled by the noisy crowd - who failed to quieten down as Kyrgios was preparing to serve.

When fans didn't stop the noise despite a plea from the chair umpire, Kyrgios yelled "shut the f*** up".

The Aussie was hit with a code violation for the audible obscenity and because he'd already received one for smashing his racquet he was docked a point.

That handed the set to Nadal given it was his seventh point in the tie-breaker.

Kyrgios was then heard remonstrating with the umpire during the change of ends, asking "why would you do that?"

However the umpire's hands were tied given how loud Kyrgios' f-bomb was.

Fans were stunned by Kyrgios' capitulation and the manner in which he handed the set to Nadal.

Nick Kyrgios bounces back but loses it again

To his credit, Kyrgios managed to re-focus straight away and sent the match to a third set in extraordinary scenes.

The second set went with serve until the 12th game when Kyrgios managed to break to win it 7-5.

With Nadal serving at 15-40, Kyrgios won an incredible point in which he stumbled but still managed to survive.

Kyrgios only just got the ball back over the net after recovering from his slip, before playing a brilliant backhand overhead volley to win it.

Unfortunately for Kyrgios he unravelled again in the third set after Nadal went up a break at 4-3.

Once again it was the crowd that got the better of Kyrgios after he was forced to wait while serving on break point.

The Aussie then double faulted to hand Nadal the game before unleashing at the umpire.

"How many f***ing times are you going to let them do that," Kyrgios raged.

"Look at the f***ing score. Look at the score."

Nadal went on with the job to advance to the semi-finals, winning 7-6 (0) 5-7 6-4.

The Spaniard has now won 19-consecutive matches to start 2022.

Nick Kyrgios, pictured here smashing his racquet against Rafa Nadal at Indian Wells.
Nick Kyrgios received a code violation for smashing his racquet against Rafa Nadal at Indian Wells. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Things got awkward between Kyrgios and Nadal even before their blockbuster clash on Thursday.

As is tradition at the tournament in the California desert, players are transported to the court in golf carts.

Opposing players will often share a golf cart to save drivers from making two trips, and Kyrgios and Nadal did exactly that.

In awkward scenes, Kyrgios sat in the front of the cart while Nadal was riding on the back - looking away from his opponent.

The pair didn't share any words with each other as they remained focused on the match, with minimal eye contact as well.

Kyrgios was on fire when the match started but melted down when Nadal fought his way back into the set.

The Australian star served for it at 5-4 but couldn't get the job done, completely losing focus as the set slipped away from him.

Kyrgios even tried a cheeky underarm serve earlier in the match, but Nadal was up to the challenge and responded with a clean winner.

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