During the third set of a match littered with drama at the All England Club, Kyrgios aimed a forehand at the 18-time Grand Slam champion, but Nadal was able to deflect it with his racket. Nadal glared at the Australian but kept his cool and went on to win 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5) 7-6 (3).
During a spicy postmatch news conference, Kyrgios admitted he had purposely aimed the ball at Nadal's chest -- and would not say he was sorry for doing so.
"Why would I apologize? I mean, the dude has got how many Slams, how much money in the bank account?" Kyrgios said. "I think he can take a ball to the chest, bro. I'm not going to apologize to him at all."
Nadal said he was concerned more for the safety of others.
"I don't say Nick does this stuff to bother the opponent, but [it] is true that sometimes he's dangerous. When he hit the ball like this, [it] is dangerous," Nadal said. "[It] is not dangerous for me, [it] is dangerous for a line referee, dangerous for a crowd. When you hit the ball like this, you don't know where the ball goes.
"I know he's a big, talented player, but I am a professional player, too. I know when you hit this kind of ball, the ball can go anywhere. This time the ball went in, [it] almost hit me, no problem. I am professional, so I know how to avoid this. But another one, the ball goes straight to the back. So have been dangerous moment for the line umpire. That ball hits an eye or something like this, is a problem. That's it."
Best of Nick Kyrgios' eventful news conference after Nadal defeat
Nick Kyrgios' was his usual combative self following his 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 defeat to Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon
Kyrgios spent much of the match, which was contested on Centre Court, complaining about Nadal's speed of play. His constant bemoaning led him to an official warning, before he branded the chair umpire "a disgrace."
The tension began when Kyrgios claimed early in the first set that his request to challenge a call had been missed. He then began to question Nadal's speed of play and, when Nadal left for a bathroom break at the end of the first set, Kyrgios continued to vent his frustration toward the chair umpire.
In between a pair of underarm serves and attempted "tweener" shots, Kyrgios' complaints became a common theme throughout the next hour on court, and the performance continued in his postmatch interviews.
There Kyrgios again branded the umpire "horrendous" while facing questions from the media before he explained why he felt wronged.
"I'm serving, I'm like starting my routine. Rafa said, 'Stop.' The rule is like, 'Play to the speed of the server.' Why do I have to wait for him to get into his rhythm every time?" Kyrgios said. "I got angry at the ref. He's like, 'No, I'll tell him what I want to tell him.' I was like, 'Oh, a little bit of a power trip there.' He obviously feels pretty important sitting up in the chair. He was just terrible. I thought the way he handled the match was just bad."
Nadal will go on to play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round on Saturday.