Rafael Nadal to Nick Kyrgios: 'You have a great future'

By @saihoops on
Rafael Nadal, Nick Kyrgios, China Open
Tennis - China Open - Men's Singles Finals - Beijing, China - October 8, 2017 - Rafael Nadal of Spain and Nick Kyrgios of Australia attend the trophy ceremony. Reuters /Jason Lee

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal has encouraged Australia's Nick Kyrgios to continue his pursuit of breaking into the top-10 of the ATP Rankings. After outclassing Kyrgios in Sunday's China Open final, Nadal said the young Aussie has "a great future" in the sport and expects to see a lot more of him in the years to come.

In 2014, a teenage Kyrgios burst into the limelight when he upset Nadal 7-6, 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 in the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon. Since then, Kyrgios has pushed the likes of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Milos Raonic to hard-fought matches but hasn't reaped the success that he was projected to achieve. Owing to his in-game meltdowns and emotional outbursts, many analysts feel the mercurial Kyrgios has stood in his way of sustained success. However, there are some who believe Kyrgios is beginning to turn a new page.

On Sunday, Kyrgios was once again a victim of his own temperament as he swore and argued with the chair umpire during a 6-2, 6-1 drubbing at the hands of the Spaniard. But Nadal, a 16-time Grand Slam winner, saw encouraging signs from Kyrgios and asked the Aussie to continue playing tennis with passion.

Rafael Nadal on Nick Kyrgios: ‘He has everything’

"Of course, some moments were a little bit strange for me, something a little bit unusual. (But) he has everything 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," Nadal said while lavishing praise on Kyrgios.

Meanwhile, Kyrgios admitted to being "destroyed" by Nadal before acknowledging that he failed to react professionally to the defeat. "I guess I put in a pretty good week, had some good wins. 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," said Kyrgios, who defeated 20-year-old rising star Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals.

In a piece for The Players Voice, Kyrgios claimed to have found his "purpose" in life after another rollercoaster week in Beijing. "What's the purpose for all this? I've been asking myself that question for the last couple of years. You've no doubt noticed that I'm not all that good at hiding the fact I'd rather be somewhere else a lot of the time. So, what have I been doing it for? I haven't had that and I've always been envious of those who did. I think I've found my purpose in the last couple of months. I'm building something."

Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios will now head from Beijing to the Shanghai Masters, where World No. 2 Roger Federer will also be in action. Nadal, after winning the French Open and U.S. Open, is determined to win the yearend ATP World Tour Finals and enter 2018 still atop the world of tennis.