BEIJING: Rafael Nadal said Nick Kyrgios “has everything” to succeed and that he hopes the Australian will fulfill his promise despite his latest high-profile meltdown in the China Open finals.
Kyrgios was back in the spotlight after he capitulated 6-2, 6-1 to the Spanish world No.1 in Beijing on Sunday, during which he swore, argued with the umpire and was docked a point.
It is just the latest indiscretion for Kyrgios, 22, whose potential has often been betrayed by his temperament — including at last year’s Shanghai Masters, where he was fined for “lack of best efforts” in an extraordinary defeat to Mischa Zverev.
Going into the China Open ranked 19, Kyrgios scored redemptive wins over Zverev and the German’s brother, Alexander, before his title bid unravelled in the final against Nadal.
Kyrgios appeared unable to get over an incorrect line call in the first game as he indulged in one of his infamous running debates with the umpire.
Nadal, the 16-time Grand Slam winner, admitted he was bemused by some of Kyrgios’s antics.
“Of course, some moments was a little bit strange for me, something a little bit unusual,” Nadal, 31, said.
But Nadal, for whom victory gifted him a sixth title of the season and landmark 75th ATP crown, has no doubts about Kyrgios’s talent.
“He has everything,” said Nadal, who like Kyrgios will head immediately from Beijing to the Shanghai Masters, where Roger Federer will also be in action.
“He has unbelievable good eyes, when you play against him, it looks like he has time for everything. That’s very difficult.
“Then, of course, he has great hands and a fantastic serve.
“He has everything to fight for almost all the events of the year.
“So let’s see what can happen in the future, but of course he will be a candidate for everything.”
Pretty much no-show
Kyrgios, who had been pursuing a fourth ATP singles title, displayed honest self-appraisal when he said his heavy defeat to Nadal was “typical”.
The Australian, who displayed his best in dumping out 20-year-old rising star Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals, said Nadal had “destroyed” him and admitted he had failed to react professionally.
“I guess I put in a pretty good week, had some good wins,” said Kyrgios.
“It’s tough to find positives when you won three games in the final.
“In the semi-final I played well, obviously beating Alex, it’s a typical type of week for me: beat a player well, then pretty much no-show.”
Writing for the playersvoice.com.au website, Kyrgios also called the final “a disappointing end to an otherwise good week”.
“I lost a bit of composure after a rough line call in the first game of the match and never really recovered,” he said.
“People will have their own opinions on how the final went down but, for the most part, I was satisfied with the week and happy to qualify for my second final of 2017.”