Wimbledon: Kyrgios disappointed with Nadal walkover but struggling to sleep with excitement

By Sports Desk July 08, 2022

Nick Kyrgios revealed he was disappointed to be gifted a place in the Wimbledon final, having been determined to earn his shot at the title by beating Rafael Nadal.

But following news of that semi-final walkover, the Australian was so excited he struggled to sleep.

Kyrgios, speaking to the media on Friday, said he learned of Nadal's withdrawal with an abdominal muscle tear only shortly before the Spaniard announced his decision at a news conference.

While Kyrgios – who enjoys a feisty rivalry with the 22-time grand slam champion – sent Nadal a message on Instagram, he was yet to speak to him.

The 27-year-old had been desperate to beat Nadal, but his respect for his opponent was also evident in his words.

"Honestly, my first feeling was a bit of disappointment," Kyrgios said.

"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 and all that type of stuff.

"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, as soon as I beat Garin, that I knew Rafa was a high possibility.

"It's just someone that I've had so many good battles with before. We've both taken a win against each other at this tournament, and I really did want to see how the third chapter was going to go.

"You never want to see someone like that, [someone] so important to the sport go down with an injury like that. 

"He's just played so much tennis, he's had a gruelling season, so I just hope he recovers. I'm sure I'll play him again on a big stage."

He added: "But obviously it's exciting to say I'll have a chance to play for a grand slam singles title; after everything, it's pretty cool."

Indeed, so exciting Kyrgios endured "a shocking sleep" on Thursday night.

"I got probably an hour of sleep," he said. "Just with everything, the excitement, I had so much anxiety, I was already feeling so nervous – and I don't feel nervous usually."

Kyrgios was concerned the absence of a semi-final match would knock him out of what has been "a pretty good routine" in his run to a first major final.

"People will say, 'he gets another day off', but it's definitely a shock to the system, having been playing so many matches," he explained.

"You play a match at a grand slam and you know, deep down, that you have one day to wind down, let yourself relax and then go again.

"To have two and a half, three days off... today I'm going to emulate not a match scenario but I'm going to try to have a bit more of an extended practice to try to feel like I'm in that same routine.

"That can throw anyone off. At a grand slam, you want to have those matches, you want to have those competitive juices, you want to have those going, the adrenaline.

"That's just something I'm going to have to go into the final without, that semi-final experience.

"That's okay, I'm going to take the positives, rest my body a bit; it's not bad going in there feeling fresh."

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