We do not feel that we were premature in touting the New and Improved Nick Kyrgios, even though he was dispatched with alacrity by Rafael Nadal when the two met recently on the clay at the Madrid Open.
Kyrgios is young and inexperienced on clay, at least so far as could be said when compared against the player to whom many refer to as the King of Clay.
Kyrgios has beaten Novak Djokovic twice in recent months, and even though some may accurately point out that Djokovic has slipped a bit since that point in 2016 when he looked invincible, for Kyrgios, it was an impressive stepping-stone.
In Madrid, Nadal needed 72 minutes to take care of Kyrgios with a 6 – 3, 6 – 1 victory, but our young Aussie gained valuable lessons from playing on Nadal’s best surface and we can assure anyone who needs reassurance that if these two players meet again in the French Open next month, it will be an older, wiser Kyrgios who will be doing everything in his power to dethrone the King of Clay.
Kyrgios managed to do what few others can claim when playing Nadal on clay. He broke Nadal in the first set at a point when it seemed as though the match was going to be anything but a walkover for Nadal.