Australian Open: Kyrgios mocks Nadal in second-round victory over Simon

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Nick Kyrgios reignited his feud with Rafael Nadal on Thursday, after the controversial Aussie mocked Nadal's serving mannerisms during his second-round victory over Gilles Simon.

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Kyrgios was unhappy at being given a time violation by the chair umpire late in the second set, and he protested by mimicking Nadal’s pre-serve routine, making the point that the Spaniard takes a lot more time before serving without getting called for violation.

Simon got in on the act in the third set when he also received a time violation, doing his own impression of Nadal’s mannerisms. An amused Kyrgios responded with a nod of approval to the Frenchman, while the crowd and the umpire joined in on the laughs.

Kyrgios and Nadal have had several exchanges in the past, with Nadal accusing the Australian of lacking respect in Acapulco last year, and Kyrgios calling the Spaniard a sore loser during an interview with the “No Challenges Remaining” podcast in May.

When asked about Kyrgios’ latest antics, Nadal refused to get drawn into the conversation, saying “he doesn’t care”.

“I really don’t care. I’m here to play tennis,” Nadal said. “I don’t care at all. It was funny? Good. That’s it.”

Both men could meet in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

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It was another very eventful Nick Kyrgios match on Thursday, as the Australian overcame Simon in four sets to book a spot in the third round for the fourth time in his career.

Kyrgios looked on course for a comfortable victory when he led by two sets and a break, but Simon got the break back in the third set, prompting a mini-meltdown from the home favourite. The Australian began chatting to himself, aimed a few words at his box, and went on to drop the third set.

Kyrgios regained his composure just in time for the fourth set, getting the decisive break in the eleventh game before serving out the 6-2 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory.

“I knew that if it went five sets, it would have been very tough physically, especially going up against a guy like that, with the conditions being very slow,” Kyrgios said.

“But I thought I lifted in the fourth. I just put my head down. I lost my way a little bit in the third set. I put my head down, I told myself, ‘Just cut the bull**** and just get to work.’ I got the break at five-all. It was a good feeling to get through that.”

The Australian sent down 28 aces, flashing a total of 67 winners and 40 unforced errors in the two-hour 50-minute victory. Kyrgios offered an apology to his box after the match, describing his behaviour as unacceptable.

“I apologized as soon as I went back into the locker room. They don’t deserve that. They do a lot of things for me on and off the court. No, it’s not acceptable from me. Nothing to do with them,” Kyrgios said. “In my next match, I don’t want to do that.”

The 2015 quarter finalist will next face Russia’s Karen Khachanov, who overcame Swedish young gun, Mikael Ymer in five sets to book his spot in the third round.