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“Rafael Nadal Is Now……..!”: When Giannis Antetokounmpo Snubbed Nick Kyrgios in 2020 After Spaniard Won 20th Grand Slam Title

Advait Jajodia

Rafael Nadal is my favorite athlete now: Giannis Antetokoumpo mocks Nick Kyrgios

Rafael Nadal has had an impact on an entire generation of athletes outside the tennis world. Giannis Antetokounmpo is merely one such example that is inspired by the King of Clay. However, the NBA superstar seems to have grown an affinity for Nadal in the recent past as he initially called Nick Kyrgios as his favorite.

Back in 2020, merely a few days after the NBA 2019-2020 season concluded, Giannis Antetokounmpo was seen partying with fellow Greek national Stefanos Tsitsipas. As seen in a video that seems to be taken by the tennis star, the two-time NBA MVP had a message for Nick Kyrgios. For no reason mentioned, Antetokounmpo changed his favorite player from Kyrgios to Rafael Nadal.

“So Nick, Giannis has something to tell you,” Tsitsipas said in the video.

“So, Nick you were my favourite like tennis athlete, player, whatever it’s called. But now it’s Nadal because I just love him, I love him, sorry,” Giannis declared.


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A post shared by Nick Kyrgios (@k1ngkyrg1os)

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why Giannis had a change of heart. Merely a few days before the video was uploaded on social media, Rafa won the French Open, marking his 13th title win at Roland Garros.

To Nick’s credit, despite his feud with Nadal, the Aussie took the Milwaukee Bucks leader’s comments playfully. But there was a time when there was no love lost between Kyrgios and Nadal, making it one of the ugliest tennis spats in public.

Why Did Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal Beef?

Nick Kyrgios has had the habit of locking horns with every opponent that he goes up against. Rafael Nadal was merely one of the big names on the ATP Tour that the Canberra native had been beefing with.

Apart from several awkward postgame customary handshakes, the duo had also been visibly frustrated when playing each other.

The details of the beef were broken down by Nick back in 2019. In the No Challengers podcast, apart from speaking about Nadal’s personality, he also claimed that the Spaniard would treat him differently after a win and a loss.

“He’s my polar opposite. Literally my polar opposite. And he’s super salty,” Kyrgios had said back then.

“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’.”

With Rafa’s career reaching its tail end and no sign of a return to the tour for Kyrgios, fans may sadly never get to see another encounter between them. However, relations between them seem to have definitely improved as both the players have been respectful of each other in recent years.

Post Edited By:Dhruv Rupani

About the author

Advait Jajodia

Advait Jajodia


Advait Jajodia, a seasoned NBA journalist, has had a passion for the game for over a decade. His journey from admiring Kobe Bryant's precision to being in awe of Stephen Curry's long-range mastery instilled a profound understanding of basketball. With a background as a two-time National-level player, Advait uses his experience on the hardwood to offer insightful analysis. Over three years of dedicated sports journalism has equipped the 21-year-old with a unique perspective, reflected in his prolific portfolio of 3,700+ articles.

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