Toni Nadal's brutal dig at Nick Kyrgios after loss in Wimbledon final

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Toni Nadal and Nick Kyrgios are pictured side by side.
Nick Kyrgios lacks 'understanding' of the mental side of tennis, Toni Nadal has said in the wake of the Wimbledon final last weekend. Pictures: Getty Images

Nick Kyrgios might have impressed many with his performances on his way to a maiden grand slam final, but the former coach of one of his fiercest rivals has walked away unimpressed.

In a typically controversial grand slam appearance, Kyrgios overcame numerous on-court meltdowns and the revelation he had been summonsed to court in Canberra to advance to the final against Novak Djokovic.

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Though he went down in four sets 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6(3), Kyrgios' overall performance against Djokovic wasn't anything to be ashamed of.

Despite this, a handful of moments throughout the match showed the difference in mentality between Djokovic and Kyrgios.

This was not lost on Toni Nadal, uncle and former coach of Spanish star Rafael Nadal, who was critical of Kyrgios' 'understanding of tennis' in the wake of the final.

Kyrgios and the elder Nadal have sparred at various occasions over the years, so it was perhaps of little surprise, particularly in light of Rafael withdrawing from the semi-final against Kyrgios, that he had expected more from the Australian.

“In the decisive moments, he was unable to control his anxiety that, again, degenerated into constant rebukes to his team as if they were to blame for the undesired paths the scoreboard was taking for him," he told Spanish newspaper El Pais.

Toni and Rafa Nadal, pictured here celebrating his French Open triumph in 2017.
Toni and Rafa Nadal celebrate his French Open triumph in 2017. (Photo by Mehdi Taamallah/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“The match lacked great brilliance, mainly because there were too many unplayed points.

"The lack of perseverance of the Australian, especially in regards to maintaining his aggressiveness, revealed the main problem that, in my opinion, his game possesses.

“He has a bad habit of hitting too many balls in any way, basically without paying attention and in a bad position.

“In today’s tennis, due to the speed at which the ball goes, there is no choice but to look for a good position to have good control.

“The great players measure their steps well, seek a good position, and from there, try to hit a good shot and increase the chances of victory."

Nick Kyrgios flaws exposed in Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic

Nadal was far from done there though.

He said it was abundantly clear now more than ever that it was not Kyrgios' skill with the racquet that had held him back in the past.

“Nick Kyrgios, with his messy way of understanding the game, is handicapped not so much by what he does with the ball, but by the way he wants to do it.

“It is very difficult for him to achieve the continuity that requires scoring points. Tennis is a sport of repetition, rather than the spectacular.”

Kyrgios' plans for the future remain up in the air, after the 27-year-old suggested he would have considered retiring from the sport had he won Wimbledon.

Nick Kyrgios returns to Novak Djokovic during the Wimbledon men's final.
Nick Kyrgios says he needs some rest, feeling 'exhausted' after his run to the Wimbledon final. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

After the final, he admitted he had been feeling the weight of pressure to perform both leading into the final and throughout the tournament.

Asked if he was 'hungry for more', Kyrgios quipped that he and his team were more concerned with taking a break from the stress of grand slam tennis for a while.

"Myself and my team, I think we are all exhausted. We have played so much tennis. I definitely need a well-earned vacation after this one," Kyrgios said.

"I’m just really happy with this result, it’s the best in my career - so hopefully I can be here again, but I don’t know about that.”

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