Nick Kyrgios produced a brilliant fightback to defeat Ugo Humbert and remain in the Australian Open on Wednesday morning. Kyrgios didn’t have things his own way, however, and failed to hide his anger on more than one occasion.
Kyrgios got off to a poor start in Melbourne and faced a mountain to climb in order to stay in the competition.
After losing the first set, the hometown hero smashed his racquet on the floor in frustration as he failed to hide his frustration with his own performance.
Then, in the crucial fifth set, he went 1-0 down but thought he had done enough to win the second game, only for the umpire to deem he had hit the net with two of his services.
That prompted Kyrgios to shout: “That’s f***ing bull****. Bull****, look at the score,” in a furious exchange with the official.
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But ultimately, he was able to lean on the vocal support of the crowd at the Melbourne Arena in order to progress to the third round of the tournament.
He lost the opening set 7-5 after having his service broken, but rallied back to win the second set 6-4.
The cracks were there to see as early as the second set, however, and at one point he appeared overwhelmed by Humbert’s performance.
After playing a backhanded shot deep into Humbert’s half, Kyrgios thought he had the point won, only for the Frenchman to produce a brilliant driven shot past him to take the point.
Once the set was taken to a tie-break, Kyrgios turned on the style and seemed to revel in the admiration of the fans to create a hostile environment for Humbert.
He raced to a 5-1 lead in the tiebreak and celebrated a Humbert error by holding out his arms and encouraging the fans to increase the noise levels.
Kyrgios was able to lean on the support of the fans to win the set in style, drilling a second serve straight past the Frenchman.
In the all-important deciding set, Kyrgios was ruthless despite his verbal exchange with the umpire, and blitzed his way to a 3-1 lead. Despite Humbert coming back to make it 3-2, Kyrgios knew victory was in sight and kept going, holding service to put the set at 4-2.
Humbert held service despite a few errors and took the set to 5-4 in Kyrgios’ favour, with the Australian once again having the chance to seal the win.
In the end, he did it in style with a thumping serve, which forced Humbert to fire his return high into the stands as Kyrgios fell to his knees with joy.