In a city known for its vibrant theater life, the best place in London Thursday had to be Center Court at Wimbledon for Rafael Nadal’s exciting 6-3 3-6 7-6 (5) 7-6 (3) victory against Nick Kyrgios in a second-round success that overflowed with activity.
It was one night only with an encore unhappily having to wait until the next time the bitter rivals happen to be paired together at a tournament.
Roger Rasheed, the former coach of Lleyton Hewitt and Gael Monfils, told CNN. “I thought it was great entertainment. It had a bit of everything.”
“It was interesting in more ways than one,” former Wimbledon favorite Tim Henman added to CNN.
Kyrgios , often cast as the villain, certainly played the part in the three-hour thriller when he labeled Damien Dumusois, chair umpire a “disgrace” for the way he officiated Nadal’s slow play, earned an unsportsmanlike behavior warning for his continuous chatter with the Frenchman and lashed a forehand at Nadal that left the world No. 2 furious.
“Yeah I was going for him,” Kyrgios admitted in a mostly light-hearted session with reporters where you wouldn’t have guessed he lost a heartbreaker on the most well-known tennis court in the world. “I wanted to hit him square in his chest.”
Nadal regularly whipped up the crowd, greatly urging them to get behind him, particularly in the third set.