Tears, jeers as Nadal, Kyrgios crash in Shanghai
A GRIM-FACED Rafael Nadal crashed out of the Shanghai Masters yesterday as Nick Kyrgios departed to boos after perhaps the most spectacular meltdown of his volatile career.
Nadal lost 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) in the second round to Viktor Troicki, his first ever defeat to the Serb and just the latest setback for the fading Spanish great.
Chinese fans brandished pictures of Nadal – including one of him in his underwear – but some were left in tears as the 14-time Grand Slam champion was well beaten.
Afterwards Nadal, now 30 and with a catalogue of injuries to his name, vowed to return to top form by next season, mainly by putting the zip back in his forehand and movement.
“I know what I have to do and I’m going to do it,” scowled Nadal, who has dropped to fifth in the world after a misfiring season.
“I’ve got two-and-a-half months until next season starts so I have got two-and-a-half months to put myself at the level I want to be.
“And I’m confident I’m going to do it.”
Earlier, Australia’s Kyrgios lashed out at fans and insisted “I don’t owe them anything” after he was booed off court in tempestuous scenes at Shanghai’s Grandstand court.
The hot-headed world number 14 clashed with the chair umpire and a heckler and admitted not trying after he lost 6-3, 6-1 to German qualifier Mischa Zverev, the world No. 110.
Kyrgios was slapped with a code violation for an audible obscenity and was warned to play properly after he patted a child-like serve into his opponent’s court.
He later admitted “taking the easy way out” after he gave up on several points during the match, including one Zverev serve which he walked away from before it had landed.
But when asked whether he could understand why fans were upset, he shot back: “Not at all.
“I feel like if they knew what they were talking about they’d be on the tennis court and being successful, as well.
“No, I can’t really understand it at all. They don’t know what I’m going through.”
Kyrgios added: “I’m good at hitting a tennis ball at the net. Like, big deal. I don’t owe them anything. It’s like it’s my choice,” he said.
“If you don’t like it, I didn’t ask you to come watch. Just leave. If you’re so good at giving advice and so good at tennis, why aren’t you as good as me? Why aren’t you on the tour?”
Kyrgios is known for his poor behaviour on court. Last year he received a suspended one-month ban for making a lewd and personal comment during a match with Stan Wawrinka.
Wawrinka, by contrast, had little trouble as the US Open champion mastered Britain’s Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-3 to reach the third round.
Canada’s Milos Raonic beat Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 6-4, but Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych tumbled 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/1) to Marcel Granollers.
David Goffin beat Benoit Paire 6-1, 7-6 (7/0) and Gilles Simon ended Chinese hopes when he beat wildcard Wu Di 6-2, 6-2. – AFP
Rafael Nadal of Spain waving to the fans after the men’s singles match against Viktor Troicki of Serbia at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai yesterday. –