Nick Kyrgios cops backlash over response to Rafa Nadal's Australian Open withdrawal

The Aussie tennis star has been shredded by fans after the devastating news about Nadal.

Nick Kyrgios and Rafa Nadal.
Nick Kyrgios has been slammed for his response to Rafa Nadal's latest injury. Image: Getty

Nick Kyrgios has drawn the ire of tennis fans after a seemingly innocent response to the news that Rafa Nadal won't be playing the Australian Open. Nadal revealed on Sunday night that he's suffered a tear in his hip and won't be able to play the grand slam at Melbourne Park, leaving tennis fans shattered.

The Spaniard suffered the injury in his loss to Jordan Thompson at the Brisbane International on Friday night, with a subsequent MRI showing a small tear. Thankfully it's not the same injury that kept Nadal out for the majority of the 2023 season, and he expressed some hope that he'll be able to play again.

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Amid the devastation for tennis fans, Kyrgios expressed his sadness for Nadal and drew comparisons to his own injury layoff. The Aussie star only played one match in 2023 due to knee and wrist injuries, and also opted against playing the Australian Open.

"Feel for Rafa man," Kyrgios wrote on social media on Sunday night. "Get better soon, that was the fear for me as well, coming back a little too soon…"

Despite the innocuous comment, Kyrgios has landed himself in hot water with fans. Many pointed out that the Aussie star didn't have to make Nadal's injury about himself or comment on his own situation.

"No one is surprised that you made this tweet about you," one person commented. Another wrote: "Is there anything you won’t be making about yourself?!"

Rafa Nadal expresses hope of return despite injury

Taking to social media on Sunday night, Nadal said: "During my last match in Brisbane I had a small problem on a muscle that as you know made me worried. Once I got to Melbourne I have had the chance to make an MRI and I have micro tear on a muscle, not in the same part where I had the injury and that's good news.

"Right now I am not ready to compete at the maximum level of [excellence] in five-set matches. I'm flying back to Spain to see my doctor, get some treatment and rest."

Questions will now be asked as to whether we've seen the last of Nadal. He stated last year that 2024 will most likely be his last on the ATP tour before he retires.

But in a positive twist, Nadal hinted that he'll be back on court later this year. He's always said that the main goal for 2024 is to play the French Open and Olympics - in May and July respectively.

Rafa Nadal, pictured here during his loss to Jordan Thompson at the Brisbane International.
Rafa Nadal hurt his hip in his loss to Jordan Thompson at the Brisbane International. (Photo by PATRICK HAMILTON/AFP via Getty Images)

"I have worked very hard during the year for this comeback and as I always mentioned my goal is to be at my best level in three months," he wrote. "Within the sad news for me for not being able to play in front of the amazing Melbourne crowds, this is not very bad news and we all remain positive with the evolution for the season.

"I really wanted to play here in Australia and I have had the chance to play a few matches that made me very happy and positive. Thanks all for the support and see you soon."

The 37-year-old had three match points against Thompson, but eventually went down 7-5 6-7 (6-8) 3-6. He grabbed at his upper left leg late in the second set and again at 1-4 in the third, before leaving the court for treatment.

"It is a very similar place to what happened last year, but different," he said after the match. "I feel more muscle, last year was tendon. For sure it's not the same like last year at all because when it happened last year I felt something drastic immediately."

Nadal had scored impressive wins over Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler before his loss to Thompson. The Brisbane International marked his first tournament since he limped out of the Australian Open in the second round last January.

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