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Nadal makes Nick Kyrgios’ special three-man list as Djokovic, Alcaraz ignored | Tennis News

Nick Kyrgios has been out of action of the better part of 2023, failing to add to his memorable 2022 season where he had reached his maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon before recording his best-ever finish of a quarterfinal appearance at US Open, owing to a wrist injury. And even though he missed all the first three Majors this year, he has his eyes on a return to tour for US Open, but faces a race against time to recover as he has already withdrawn from the Citi Open, which he had won last year.

Nick Kyrgios has faced Rafael Nadal nine times on tour with the Spaniard winning six of those encounters
Nick Kyrgios has faced Rafael Nadal nine times on tour with the Spaniard winning six of those encounters

Despite being put of action, he has been keenly following the sport and the proceedings, as visible through his social media posts, giving his views on matches and keeping the banter going with fans and critics. On Friday, he even had a small Q&A session with fans on Instagram, where he was asked about his biggest rivals on tour. While most would have expected Novak Djokovic to be on the list, if not at the top, Kyrgios snubbed him for the Serb’s rival, Rafael Nadal, a rather unexpected name on to make the list. It also did not have world no.1 and new Wimbledon winner Carlos Alcaraz, although he is yet to face the Spaniard on tour.

The list comprised of Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Stan Wawrinka. He has faced the 22-time Grand Slam winner the most number of times among the three, with the 37-year-old having a 6-3 win-loss record on completed matches in the rivalry. However, for Kyrgios, his most memorable encounter was the first one, back in 2014 Wimbledon, when he had stunned the top seed in a four-setter round of 16 tie, a win which helped him burst into the scene.

Nick Kyrgios' special three-man list
Nick Kyrgios’ special three-man list

The Aussie holds a 3-3 head-to-head record against Wawrinka, having last faced him in Acapulco in 2019. Among the three, Kyrgios’ only positive win-loss record stands against Tsitsipas, who he had beaten four times in five matches. In fact, the Greek’s only win came in 2021 Laver Cup. Their most latest meeting was at Wimbledon last year which turned out to be a bad-tempered match which later spilled out of the court as well leading to Tsitsipas calling Kyrgios’ tennis approach as “uneducated”. The former Roland Garros finalist even faced criticism for comparing Kyrgios attitude to that of an ‘NBA basketball’ player.

Tsitsipas later took to social media to clarify his remark saying: “It has come to my attention that some individuals have misinterpreted my comments regarding Nick Kyrgios… insinuating racism where none exists. I want to emphasize that I harbour no prejudice towards anyone based on their background, ethnicity, or interests. I deeply regret if my words were misinterpreted or caused offence, as that was never my intention.”

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