Nick Kyrgios beats world No. 6 Tsitsipas, almost quits after being a monkey at chair umpire
Tantrums, broken racquets and heated arguments with the referee again played a big role, as Nick Kyrgios secured an upset victory over world No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas in Halle.
In what was his best win of the year before a Wimbledon tournament missing four of the top 10 men’s players in the world through injury and suspension, Kyrgios’ play was sparkling.
However, his magic with the racquet stood in stark contrast to his erratic behavior between points, with the Australian admitting after the match that he was close to quitting.
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Despite the emotional rollercoaster, he still managed to come out of a set down to knock out the second seed 5-7 6-2 6-4, at the Wimbledon warm-up tournament held in Germany.
The former Wimbledon quarter-finalist looked at home on the grass but had to do it the hard way when he lost the first set. Frustrations began to boil soon after when the world No. 65 mangled his racquet beyond recognition, repeatedly pounding it against the side of his shortside seat.
Chair umpire Timo Janzen gave the Aussie a code violation for the outburst, then a heated argument in the second set ensued after he was penalized for a time violation on serve. Tsitsipas.
Kyrgios had made Tsitsipas wait to serve according to Janzen, which didn’t sit well with the 27-year-old who protested, sat down and demanded the supervisor be called before returning to the pitch.
The Australian Open doubles champion disputed the call, saying he was among the fastest players on the tour, while also lashing out at 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal. and his infamous time management issues.
“It happens in every game, I’ve waited so many times for Rafa (Nadal),” he heard.
Speaking after the game, Kyrgios said he was close to leaving but his team’s encouragement helped him through several emotional moments throughout.
“My team. My girlfriend, my physio, my best friend, my manager, they just kept me in, got me over the line,” Kyrgios said.
“At times I felt like giving up, frustrated, and Stef was rolling but, I don’t know, they kind of pulled me out of a hole.”
Kyrgios objected to the time violation call in the second set and said it was mainly for show.
“The referees, I don’t think they understand… Everyone here in Halle was looking forward to seeing me play with Stef, they (the referees) just want to be relevant,” he said.
“The game was going well, the public was enjoying it – it was completely unnecessary.
“As you can see from the scoreboard, I concentrated pretty well. I lost the first set, got my focus back and got through.”
It was Kyrgios’ 24th victory over a top 10 player – an impressive feat, especially as he has never finished in the top 10 throughout his career, with his best finish in 2016 when he reached No. 13 in the world.
He will next face Carreno Busta, who beat in-form American Sebastian Korda 6-4 0-6 6-3.
World number one and top seed Daniil Medvedev advanced beating David Goffin 6-3 6-2, while defending champion Ugo Humbert was knocked out by Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.
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