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Nick Kyrgios says Wimbledon Rafael Nadal clash will be 'the most watched match of all time'

Could Nick Kyrgios v Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon be the most watched tennis match of all time? The Australian believes it could be.
Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios believes his Wimbledon semi-final against Rafael Nadal will 'be the most watched match of all time.'

It will be Kyrgios' first appearance in the last four of a Grand Slam, and it is perhaps fitting that it will be against the player against whom he first came to the world's attention.

In 2014, Kyrgios was a wild card ranked 144 in the world when he beat the world number one Nadal on Centre Court, although the Spaniard did get a degree of revenge by winning a 2019 Wimbledon rematch.

"Yeah, obviously it will be pretty special to play Rafa here," Kyrgios said. "We've had some absolute battles on that Centre Court.

"He's won one against me, and I've won one against him.

"Obviously, we know, two completely different personalities. I feel like we respect the hell out of each other, though.

"I feel like it will be a mouth-watering kind of encounter for everyone around the world. [It will] probably be the most-watched match of all time."

Nick Kyrgios seemed able to cut out his customary antics almost entirely in his quarterfinal win over Cristian Garin, which was oddly routine for the Australian.

He was visibly emotional on court as he allowed it all to sink in, and he later explained why.

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"I never thought that I would be here," he said. "The ship, I thought, was gone. Especially after where I was a couple years ago.

RELATED: ‘I thought I’d wasted that stage of my career,’ says Nick Kyrgios as he reaches first Grand Slam semi

"But obviously everything I've overcome, I'm feeling really, really proud of myself and the team, the level I'm playing.

"There was a point where I was almost done with the sport. Obviously I posted this year about the kind of mental state I was in in 2019 when I was at the Australian Open with self-harm and suicidal thoughts and stuff.

"I'm sitting there today after the match... To be a semi-finalist at Wimbledon, it's a special accomplishment for everyone, but I think especially for me.

"I don't think anyone would have... if you asked anyone if I was able to do that the last couple years, I think everyone would have probably said, 'No, he doesn't have the mental capacity, he doesn't have the fitness capacity, he doesn't have the discipline, all that.

"I almost started doubting myself with all that traffic coming in and out of my mind.

"I just sat there today and soaked it all in. There's just so many people I want to thank. At the same time I feel like I don't want to stop here either."

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