NICK KYRGIOS prepared for his Wimbledon showdown with Rafael Nadal… by heading to the pub.
The Australian maverick, 24, was spotted enjoying himself in the Dog & Fox in Wimbledon village the night before his meeting with old nemesis Rafa.
One tennis reporter shared updates of Kyrgios during his evening at the popular pub, just a ten-minute walk from the gates to the All England Club.
Miguel Seabra wrote: “I just had a toast with Nick Kyrgios at the Dog & Fox. He is completely relaxed, laughing with friends, chatting with girls, drinking. “I love the @estorilopen”, he told me. Quite an unorthodox preparation for tomorrow’s blockbuster, uh? I like it. #wimbledon #tennis.”
He later tweeted, at around 2am: “I must add that Nick left @TheDogAndFox like two hours before me. Which means he didn’t stay until late at all.
“I reckon he‘ll be ready for tomorrow’s blockbuster, just like Rafa will. Each in their own way. Can’t wait to see that match #wimbledon #tennis #nadalkyrgios #dogandfox”
Kyrgios was even spotted giving another tennis journalist a cheeky kiss.
Reports say he was in the Dog & Fox until around 11pm – but it is unclear what time he did indeed leave or if he was even drinking.
Kyrgios broke on to the scene when he stunned Nadal here at Wimbledon in 2014.
And since then the pair have not always seen eye to eye, especially when the pair clashed after Kyrgios surprised Nadal with an underarm serve earlier this year.
Speaking of their relationship after setting up the second-round clash which is third on Centre Court today, Kyrgios said: “Uhm, not sure that me and Rafa could go down to the Dog & Fox and have a beer together.
“I don’t know him at all. I know him as a tennis player. I just don’t – no, I don’t know him very well.”
Asked whether he found it easier to talk to other players on tour, he added: “Yeah, 100 per cent. That’s just how it is.
“I get along with people, some people I don’t get along with.
“We have a mutual respect and that’s about it I think.”
He’s my polar opposite. Literally my polar opposite. And he’s super salty.
Nick Kyrgios on Rafael Nadal
He also said earlier this year: “He’s my polar opposite. Literally my polar opposite. And he’s super salty.
“When he wins it’s fine, he won’t say anything bad, he’ll credit the opponent – ‘he competed well today, he’s a great player’ – but then as soon as I beat him, it’s just like ‘he has no respect for me, my fans and no respect to the game’.
“I’m like ‘what are you talking about? I literally played this way that I beat you the other previous times and nothing changed’.”
Meanwhile, Rafa – the third seed at SW19 – refused to be dragged into a war of words.
He said: “I’m too old for all that stuff.
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“My thoughts are very clear: I play against a top talent player, a very dangerous player when he wants to play tennis.
“Normally against the best players, he wants to play tennis. When that happens, he’s a very dangerous opponent.
“Of course, like second round is a super tough one. I know that. I need to be at my 100 per cent. I’m going to fight for it.”