Major twist for Nick Kyrgios after ugly drama against Rafa Nadal

Nick Kyrgios, pictured here after his loss to Rafa Nadal at Indian Wells.
Nick Kyrgios suffered a heartbreaking loss to Rafa Nadal at Indian Wells. Image: Getty

Nick Kyrgios may have been shattered after suffering an agonising near-miss against Rafa Nadal at Indian Wells, but the Aussie was received some welcome good news ahead of the Miami Open.

Kyrgios' run to the quarter-finals at Indian Wells has seen him rise 30 places in the ATP rankings to sit on the cusp of entering the top 100 once again.

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Coming into the event in the California desert, Kyrgios was sitting at World No.132 after two years disrupted by injuries and the Covid pandemic.

But his remarkable run to the final eight at Indian Wells has seen him rise to No.102 heading into the Miami Open this week.

If the 26-year-old can continue his brilliant form in Miami he will likely re-enter the world's top 100 - an important step on his road back to relevance.

Because of his lowly ranking, Kyrgios needed wildcards to play at Indian Wells and Miami - known as the 'Sunshine Double'.

Being outside the top 104 also means players aren't guaranteed automatic qualification at grand slam tournaments.

Alex de Minaur was also rewarded for his run to the fourth round at Indian Wells, improving three spots to World No.28.

On the women's side, Daris Saville was the big mover as the Aussie rocketed up the rankings from 409 to 249.

The former World No.20 has been plagued by injuries over the last few years but seemed to recapture her best form as she reached the fourth round at Indian Wells.

Nick Kyrgios apologises for ball kid incident

On Saturday, Kyrgios issued an apology after a racquet he smashed into the ground bounced and nearly hit a ball boy following his loss to Nadal.

The ball boy was able to duck out of the way and Kyrgios was then booed by some in the crowd following the 7-6 (7-0) 5-7 6-4 loss.

"I just want to apologise to that ball kid at the end of the match," Kyrgios wrote on Instagram.

"It was a complete accident and was frustrated at the end of the match.

"My racquet took a crazy bounce and was never my intention. If anyone knows who that ball kid is, send me a message and I will send a racket to him. I'm glad he's OK!"

Nick Kyrgios, pictured here smashing his racquet at Indian Wells.
Nick Kyrgios almost hit a ball boy after smashing his racquet at Indian Wells. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Kyrgios later used social media to track down the boy, who accepted the apology and said he was "completely fine" and looking forward to getting his hands on a racquet.

Kyrgios was initially defensive when asked about the incident after the match, berating a reporter for focusing on it rather than his high level of play against Nadal.

"What would you like me to say about it?," he said.

"Obviously, was that my intention? No. Because I threw the racquet. Did I throw the racquet anywhere near him originally? It landed a metre from my foot and skidded and nearly hit him.

"I'm human. Things happen like that. Obviously it was a very misfortunate bounce.

"I think if I did that a million times over it wouldn't have gone that way."

with AAP

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