'Wanted to hit him': Kyrgios-Nadal war explodes in ugly Wimbledon moment

Rafael Nadal has condemned Nick Kyrgios's "dangerous" antics in a bitter post-script to their gripping Wimbledon grudge match.

Kyrgios refused to apologise for slapping a series of scorching forehands straight at Nadal's body, admitting he tried to hit him during the Spaniard's four-set second round win on Thursday.

One in particular late in the third set riled Nadal, who turned back and glared at the Australian, but later rejected a claim he'd cursed Kyrgios in Spanish.

"It certainly wasn't a passing shot, was it? He had time for a passing shot and he went for the head," Australian commentator Todd Woodbridge said on BBC TV.

Kyrgios admitted he tried to hit Nadal, but refused to apologise.

"Why would I apologise?" Kyrgios said.

"I didn't hit him. Hit his racquet, no? Why would I apologise? I won the point."

When told it was tennis "convention" to apologise after almost striking your opponent with the ball, Kyrgios was unrepentant.

Rafael Nadal wasn't happy. Image: Channel 7

"Is it? And?," Kyrgios said, adding that he didn't care that he'd upset the 18-times grand slam champion.

"I don't care. Why would I apologise? I mean, the dude has got how many slams, how much money in the bank account?

"I think he can take a ball to the chest, bro. I'm not going to apologise to him at all.

"I was going for him. Yeah, I wanted to hit him square in the chest. Like, he's got decent hands."

Nadal slams ‘dangerous’ act

Nadal agreed he was "professional" enough to deal with Kyrgios's body shots, but felt slapping balls with such ferocity was also reckless.

"I don't say Nick does this stuff to bother the opponent, but (it) is true that sometimes he's dangerous," Nadal said.

"When he hit the ball like this, (it) is dangerous. (It) is not dangerous for me, (it) is dangerous for a line referee, dangerous for a crowd.

"When you hit the ball like this, you don't know where the ball goes.

"I know he's a big talented player, but I am a professional player, too. I know when you hit this kind of ball, the ball can go anywhere.

"This time the ball went in, almost hit me, no problem. I am professional, so I know how to avoid this.

"But another one, the ball goes straight to the back. So have been dangerous moment for the line umpire.

"(If) tThat ball hits an eye or something like this, (it) is a problem."

Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios shake hands after their match. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Spiteful clash

It was just one instance of a fiery encounter.

An audacious under-arm ace and the second-fastest serve in tennis history weren’t enough to spare Kyrgios from a drama-charged loss.

In a gripping encounter that exceeded all the hype, Nadal avenged his stunning defeat to Kyrgios on the sport's most hallowed court five years ago with a pulsating four-set triumph on Thursday.

Living up to its grudge-match-of-the year status, Nadal resisted the volatile Australian's spirited challenge with a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3) victory in a three-hour-and-three-minute classic.

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A series of verbal jousts between the two, chiefly Kyrgios's taunting of the "super salty" Spaniard and Nadal's "idiot" Uncle Toni in an explosive podcast, had dominated the build-up.

But such tasty barbs served as merely the appetiser to a spicy main course that had Wimbledon's centre court crowd - and the umpire - on the edge of their seats.

Raging after losing a challenge on his first serve in the eighth game, Kyrgios promptly smashed down an unstoppable, untouchable second serve clocked at 143mph (230kph).

Only Ivo Karlovic's 144mph (232kph) effort at the 2007 Legg Mason Classic has ever topped Kyrgios's rocket serve, according to ATP statistics.

The sport's most unpredictable talent quickly followed up with his under-arm ace, which brought a smile from even the fiercely intense Nadal.

Wimbledon's famously conservative fans had never seen anything like it, and the daring tactic appeared to briefly unsettle Nadal.