Nick Kyrgios roars with delight after downing Rafael Nadal in Acapulco. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO / AFP)
Nick Kyrgios roars with delight after downing Rafael Nadal in Acapulco. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO / AFP)

Rafa deadpans Kyrgios’ salty spray

RAFAEL Nadal has clarified his comments made against Nick Kyrgios after the pair were locked in a tense clash in Mexico last week.

Nadal blasted Kyrgios on Thursday after going down in three sets to the Aussie, saying he "lacks respect" in a fiery post-match press conference.

It came after a tense finish to their match, which saw the pair exchange likely one of the coldest post-match handshakes we'll see all year.

Adding to the drama, Kyrgios pulled out a bizarre underarm serve late in the match because Nadal had retreated miles behind the baseline to return Kyrgios' booming serves.

The pair also clashed over a time-wasting accusation in the tense third set tie-break where Kyrgios complained to the chair umpire because of Nadal's attempt to slow down and disrupt his natural service rhythm.

Nadal then proceeded to declare Kyrgios "lacks respect" for his opponent, himself and the crowd in his post-match press conference.

Now, the Spaniard has claimed most of what he said in the post-match press conference was misconstrued.

Maybe the pink threw Rafa off his game.
Maybe the pink threw Rafa off his game.

"None of you were in Acapulco and most of you wrote about the match. I invited you to watch the press conference. I meant what I said, it was in Spanish, some translations are taken out of context. Most of what I said on him was positive," Nadal said at the Indian Wells event before flat-batting Kyrgios' social media sprays from the past week.

"I heard Nick put some stuff on his social media. I'm not that young, I don't check social media every day.

"I don't feel disrespected by him serving underhand. He is free to do whatever the rules allow him to do."

Kyrgios, on the other hand, wants to take the electric form that won him the ATP 500 title in Acapulco last week to the grass of London in June after signing up to compete once again at The Queen's Club.

Kyrgios beat three of the world's top 10 players - Nadal, Alexander Zverev and John Isner, as well as three-time grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka - to win in Mexico and is now targeting something similar at the Wimbledon lead-up event from June 17-23.

"I know what I can do if I'm feeling good and I want to show that on the grass at Queen's and Wimbledon this year," Kyrgios said.

"The Fever-Tree Championships is a great event one of my good mates Andy Murray won the title five times there, so that shows how important it is.

"The courts are perfect, they suit my game and if I go well there it will set me up perfectly for Wimbledon."

Nick Kyrgios will play at Queens in the lead-up to Wimbledon. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Nick Kyrgios will play at Queens in the lead-up to Wimbledon. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Kirsty Wigglesworth

Kyrgios will join Murray, British No.1 Kyle Edmund, defending champion Marin Cilic and new world No.10 Stefanos Tsitsipas at Queen's.

"When Nick plays like he did in Acapulco, he is one of the best and most exciting tennis players in the world," tournament director Stephen Farrow said.

"We have always believed in his ability, he reached our semi-finals last year and we would love to see him put the tennis he played last week onto the grass at The Queen's Club."

Before that, though, Kyrgios will likely need to reproduce his scintillating form from Mexico at Indian Wells if he's to make another deep run in California.

The Australian No.2 will enjoy a first-round bye after being seeded 31st but is slated to run into world No.1 Novak Djokovic in round three if he wins his weekend opener against either Philipp Kohlschreiber or Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

- with AAP