Nick Kyrgios destroys reporter over 'salty' Rafa Nadal question

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  • Nick Kyrgios
    Australian tennis player
  • Jordan Thompson
    American indoor volleyball player
  • Rafael Nadal
    Rafael Nadal
    Spanish tennis player

Nick Kyrgios saved some of his wild on-court antics for an unsuspected journalist, who copped a brutal lesson in a post-match press conference.

Kyrgios admits he's struggling to strike a balance between fire and ice after flirting with first-round defeat at Wimbledon.

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Tennis's most mercurial character denied fellow Australian Jordan Thompson in five typically lively and drama-charged sets in which he argued with the chair umpire, abused a linesperson, cursed himself and heckled and joked with spectators.

Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal will resume their bitter rivalry at Wimbledon. Pic: Wimbledon/Getty
Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal will resume their bitter rivalry at Wimbledon. Pic: Wimbledon/Getty

Incredibly though, the drama was far from finished as one unfortunate journalist found out at Kyrgios' press conference.

The reporter attempted to quiz Kyrgios on the infamous feud that resulted between Kyrios and Nadal at the Mexican Open earlier in the year, with the pair set to lock horns again in the second round at Wimbledon.

Kyrgios was asked about referring to the Spaniard as “super salty” and his subsequent comments about Nadal's uncle Toni, having been branded disrespectful by his high-profile rival.

However, the Aussie wasn't having a bar of it - turning the question back on the reporter in a ruthlessly swift masterstroke.

"Can I ask you what his uncle said to me first? Do you have that fact?" Kyrgios quizzed the journalist.

"Once you have that, then I’ll answer that question. But that’s good by you."

"Did I go at him first or did his uncle come at me first?"

Each question saw the reporter fail to give the Aussie an answer, prompting the man to ask Kyrgios if he could enlighten him.

"No. That’s not my job," Kyrgios quipped.

The tense exchange set the tone for an interesting press conference but it was nothing compared to what had transpired earlier on court between Kyrgios and Aussie compatriot Jordan Thompson.

Fans on Show Court 3 were treated to the full box and dice as Kyrgios mostly treated Tuesday's match with his former junior doubles partner as an exhibition - at least until tensions rose deep in the third set.

Both players received code violations and both repeatedly complained of an overly chatty courtside fan, while Kyrgios erupted after a line judge incorrectly called one of his serves a fault.

"Is he going to be fined? Why not? I'm playing for hundreds of thousands of dollars and he's making mistakes like that," Kyrgios fumed at the chair umpire.

He then told his box: "they are idiots, f***ing idiots".

But the outburst seemed to spark Kyrgios to life, with the former quarter-finalist responding with successive aces on the way to taking the pivotal third set in an epic tiebreaker.

"When I have a lot of energy, I play well," he said.

"My emotions tend to come out a little bit more.

Nick Kyrgios came through a rollercoaster match against Jordan Thompson. Pic: Getty
Nick Kyrgios came through a rollercoaster match against Jordan Thompson. Pic: Getty

"When I'm calm, I probably don't play as unpredictable, probably don't entertain as much. It's trying to find that balance."

Despite his wild antics, the polarising showman said he didn't necessarily consider it his personal responsibility to entertain tennis crowds, or bring colour to the sport.

"I think everyone just goes about their business the way they are. I think that the sport has a serious problem with that," Kyrgios said.

"Just because I'm different, I go about it a different way, it causes a stir.

"I understand that people are different and people are going to play different. If everyone was the same, it would be very boring, no?"

The Aussie insisted that the theatrics were merely a part of him that fans should simply expect and accept.

"I'm never going to change. I used to be like this when I played under 12s, 14s," Kyrgios said after needing 23 aces, a medical time-out, countless F-bombs and three hours, 26 minutes of ebbing and flowing to see off Thompson 7-6 (7-4) 3-6 7-6 (12-10) 0-6 6-1.

"I just go out there, have fun, play the game how I want it to be played.

"At the end of the day, I know people are going to watch. Like, they can say the way I play isn't right or he's classless for the sport, all that sort of stuff.

"They're probably still going to be there watching. Doesn't really make sense."

With AAP

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