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“Not the way I wanted to get to the final” – Kyrgios
Kyrgios says he is excited to have a chance to play for a Grand Slam singles title after everything he has been through
Nadal, who had won the Australian Open and French Open titles coming into the third Major of the season, announced his withdrawal on Thursday evening, sending the 27-year-old Kyrgios into his first Grand Slam singles final.
Speaking to the media on Friday in London, Kyrgios expressed his disappointment at not being able to go up against Nadal for the third time at Wimbledon.
“It’s not the way I wanted to get to the final. As a competitor, I really did want that match. It was obviously something that as soon as I beat Garin, Rafa was a high possibility, someone I’ve had so many good battles with before. We’ve both taken a win against each other at this tournament. I really did want to see how the third chapter was going to go.” Kyrgios said.
“Obviously you never want to see someone like that, so important to the sport, go down with an injury like that. He’s just played so much tennis. He’s had a grueling season. I just hope he recovers. I’m sure I’ll play him again on a big stage. Obviously, it’s exciting to say that I have a chance to play for a Grand Slam singles title after everything. It’s pretty cool.”
“It wouldn’t have been easy for him to do that” – Kyrgios
Kyrgios, who has beaten Nadal three times in their nine previous encounters, said he hadn’t spoke to his rival since the announcement but was sure that it was not an easy decision for the Spaniard, given that Nadal was in the hunt for the calendar Grand Slam.
“I haven’t spoken to him. I found out last night at dinner just obviously before I got indicated that it was going to happen, just before the press conference obviously. Honestly my first feeling was a bit of disappointment. My energy was so focused on playing him and tactically how I’m going to go out there and play, the emotions of walking out there, all that type of stuff,” Kyrgios continued.
“It wouldn’t have been easy for him to do that. I’m sure that a lot of his team members and himself, there would be a part of him that wanted to play, for sure. He barely lost a match this year. He wanted to probably go for all four. So it wouldn’t be easy. I thought I’d just put just a nice post up to say, like, Look, we’ve had a lot of run-ins, a lot of battles. I’m sure at the end of the day everyone did want to see us go to war out there. I hope he just gets better.”