FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 14, 2018 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his semi final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Andrew Boyers
LONDON (Reuters) – Rafael Nadal could face a Wimbledon second-round showdown with controversial Australian Nick Kyrgios after the draw for the men’s singles took place on Friday.
Spaniard Nadal is in the same half of the draw as eight-time champion Roger Federer who was moved ahead of him to second in the seedings thanks to Wimbledon’s grasscourt formula.
Federer starts against Lloyd Harris while defending champion Novak Djokovic is up against Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Nadal, the third seed, bidding for a third Wimbledon title and first since 2010, will face Japan’s Yuichi Sugita in the first round with Kyrgios up against compatriot Jordan Thompson.
If they both win it will set up a re-match of their 2014 fourth-round clash when Nadal suffered a shock defeat by a then 19-year-old Kyrgios in the fourth round.
Kyrgios has made headlines for his various misdemeanors more than his tennis since then and Nadal this year accused him of lacking respect after losing to him in Acapulco when Kyrgios served underarm near the end of the match.
In a video post last month Kyrgios described Nadal as “super-salty” after defeats.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Sudipto Ganguly