“Highest-Rated TV Match in Tennis History”: Nick Kyrgios Reminisces Clash Against Rafael Nadal at Australian Open

Published 02/06/2021, 5:58 AM EST
Nick Kyrgios of Australia (R) shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain at the net following their Men’s Singles fourth round match on day eight of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty Images)


All the hard work of Tennis Australia and the Victoria government will finally be paid off this Monday. Both athletes and the fans will also dearly welcome the Australian Open 2021. But before the Slam begins, the home-favorite Nick Kyrgios remembered his last year’s clash with Spain’s Rafael Nadal.

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After beating Russia’s Karen Khachanov in the longest-match of his career, Nick Kyrgios was all set to meet Rafael Nadal. Given his record against the top-ranked players, and Nadal being No.1 then, the match was anticipated to be a thriller. And the duo did not disappoint.

Even though their battle finished in four sets, they fought two toe-to-toe tie-breakers in the last two sets. In the end, not only the 34-year-old Spaniard came out as a winner but also the TV-ratings in the country. The match ended 6-3, 3-6, 7-5, 7-5.

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Nick Kyrgios of Australia reacts during his Men’s Singles match against Rafael Nadal of Spain on day eight of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2020, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

However, this time around, a lot of things are different. And Nick believes that he might not be able to relive such moments again.

Nick Kyrgios uncertain about a rematch with Rafael Nadal

The Australian World No.45 started his season in a lead-up tournament where he lost to Borna Coric in R16. In the post-match conference, he opened about going into the Australian Open 2021.

Starting with the crowd, the Australian felt out of place looking at empty stands. However, this won’t be the case next week for the major tournament.

Rafael Nadal of Spain shakes hands at the net with Nick Kyrgios of Australia after their Men’s Singles second round match during Day four of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 04, 2019, in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

“I’ve definitely got a different feel about it,” Nick said, “I usually bring the crowd and I look around and there’s 30 people, it’s a bit odd.”

Further ahead, the 25-year-old mentioned that it’s improbable to recreate the energy similar to the Rafa match this year. But he thinks that such matches can come in the way during the event.

“I don’t think I’m going to experience as good as memories as I have here previously,” he continued. “Like playing Rafa last year on centre court, where was the highest-rated TV match in tennis history. I think it’s possible to have those chances to be a part of that stuff again this year.”

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More than anything, he is just happy that players can compete for the Slam. Nick will play qualifier Frederico Ferreira Silva in the first match of the Happy Slam.

Can Nick produce a great upset this year?

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WATCH: When Roger Federer Took a Sly Dig at Novak Djokovic for Giving Up at Australian Open

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Purav Joshi

782 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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