‘Till next time’: Nick Kyrgios wishes Nadal well as focus turns to Wimbledon final
Nick Kyrgios has wished Rafa Nadal well in his recovery from the injury that forced the Spaniard out of the Wimbledon semi-final and gifted the Australian a place in his first grand slam final.
Kyrgios was handed a walkover into Sunday’s final against either Novak Djokovic or Cam Norrie when Nadal, who played through an abdominal tear sustained during his quarter-final win against Taylor Fritz, admitted defeat and pulled out on Thursday.
Kyrgios’s response to the two-times Wimbledon champion’s withdrawal was charged with the sort of respect that has defined the interaction between top players in this golden era of men’s tennis.
“Different players, different personalities,” he posted on Instagram. “I hope your recovery goes well and we all hope to see you healthy soon. Till next time …”
As Kyrgios’s focus turns to Sunday’s title match, his camp on Friday confirmed he will be without one of his biggest supporters for the most important match of his career.
The walkover offered a window of opportunity for the 27-year-old’s mother to make a last-minute dash to the UK. But Team Kyrgios said Nill would remain at home in Canberra while awaiting a kidney transplant.
She has been a fixture for years following Kyrgios around the world but can no longer even watch his matches, preferring to learn of her son’s progress on the internet or from a phone call rather than nervously sitting through them.
Kyrgios said after his quarter-final win over Cristian Garin it was too risky for Nill to be at Wimbledon.
“Obviously my mum’s health has been a bit rocky,” he said. “It’s been pretty bad for a while now. She’s not able to kind of come to these [events] and she’s not allowed to travel that much.
“Even the Australian Open, she won’t come to my matches because she’s got, like, a pacemaker and stuff, it’s too stressful, and all that type of stuff. I try and talk to her. She’ll wake up in the morning, say, ‘I just saw the live scores. It looks like you had a tough match’.
“I’m just like, ‘You have no idea. Obviously.’ I’m just glad she’s able to kind of keep an eye on me from home.”
Kyrgios added “obviously it would be amazing for her to be here but she’s obviously dealing with a lot of things”.
“She has to make sure my dogs are fed at home as well. My brother just had a kid five days ago – George. It’s been a pretty eventful couple days for Mr Kyrgios. So, yeah, hopefully mum is watching this and she’s proud.”
While his mother and brother will not be in his courtside box, Kyrgios will have seven other of his closest allies to lean on – and berate as he does – when he plays either six-time champion Djokovic or British hope Norrie for tennis’s greatest prize.
Kyrgios’s father George, younger sister Halimah, girlfriend Costeen Hatzi, agent Stuart Dugaid, manager Daniel Horsfall, physiotherapist Will Maher and media man Tristian Hay will be responsible for providing the mercurial talent with the courtside “energy” he craves.
They’ll also bear the brunt of his tirades when things aren’t going his way.
“They know I love them,” Kyrgios said. “As soon as I come off court, I say sorry to them.”