Nick Kyrgios’ prospects at Wimbledon have skyrocketed after the enigmatic talent overcame injury fear and an all-too-familiar fight with officials to turn Stefanos Tsitsipas on its head in a tumultuous, dramatic third-round bout.
Kyrgios demanded a default on Tsitsipas for inadvertently hitting the ball in the stands, narrowly missing a spectator, before removing world No. 5 with a capricious move 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (9 – 7) victory on Saturday.
The short-tempered Aussie threatened a sit-in protest after Tsitsipas received a code violation only for throwing the ball into the stands in desperation after losing the second set on first court.
“You can’t hit the ball into the crowd and hit someone and not lose,” Kyrgios shouted over and over to chair referee Damien Dumusois, pointing out to the Frenchman that Novak Djokovic was excluded from the 2020 US Open for hitting the ball. line woman with a ball.
“I would like to speak to the supervisor. I won’t play until I talk to the supervisor,” Kyrgios demanded.
“Call more guards. I haven’t finished yet. Get them all out.”
Grand Slam Supervisor Andreas Egli did not mind this.
Soon, however, Wimbledon referee Jerry Armstrong and his assistant Denise Parnell watched the game anxiously from behind the court.
Netflix is making a documentary featuring Kyrgios and Tsitsipas, and the streaming service would salivate over the content that two of the most controversial figures in tennis have come up with.
The explosion of Kyrgios after the indiscretion of Tsitsipas was just part of the theatre.
Kyrgios also called the chair umpire a disgrace and received a code violation after being reported by a linesman for swearing.
Tsitsipas, in whose box was former Australian finalist Mark Philippoussis, complained to Dumusois that “this is not tennis” and received a penalty point for deliberately scoring Kyrgios’ underhand return on the scoreboard.
Kyrgios also left his fans’ hearts in raptures after he fell awkwardly in the first game of the fourth set and remained lying down clutching his right thigh for what seemed like an eternity.
But he eventually got up to have the last laugh, bouncing back from defeat to defeat Tsitsipas for the fourth time in as many rounds to reach the last 16.
“I felt like the favorite. I played a couple of weeks ago, but I knew it was going to be a tough match,” Kyrgios said.
“He is a hell of a player and it was a hell of a match. I’m just really happy that I passed.”
“He got frustrated at times – it’s a frustrating sport. You all think you can play, but it’s very frustrating.”
“I have a lot of respect for him. Whatever happens in the sport, I love him and I’m close to his brother, so…”
Kyrgios didn’t turn down the serve all night, retaining all five break points he faced and hitting 14 aces in another overbearing serve display that would draw the attention of his opponents.
A quarter-finalist who made his debut as a teenager in 2014, the 27-year-old will play unseeded American Brandon Nakashima on Monday for another spot in the bottom eight.
If he wins, Kyrgios could face Alex de Minaur in the quarter-finals of the Australian tournament, potentially giving him the right to take on Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.