Australian maverick Nick Kyrgios knocked out fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a wild and wonderful Wimbledon third-round slugfest that threatened to spiral out of control on Saturday; Rafael Nadal advanced to the fourth round with a rather more straight-forward win
Last Updated: 02/07/22 10:06pm
Nick Kyrgios knocked out fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a dramatic and
controversial showdown on a raucous No 1 Court on Saturday night.
The maverick Australian recovered from losing a first set tie-break to win 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (9-7) to win a match featuring code violations, a point penalty and numerous rows with officials.
At one point Kyrgios even demanded his opponent be defaulted for smashing a ball into the crowd in a bad-tempered affair.
“Honestly it was a hell of an atmosphere and an amazing match,” said Kyrgios.
“I felt like I was the favourite coming in. I had my tactics. It was a hell of a match.
“He was getting frustrated at times, but it’s a frustrating sport. Whatever happens on the court, I love him.”
A chaotic encounter began in relative calm with Kyrgios putting in a near-flawless display of serving – including an under-armer between the legs – in the first set.
Kyrgios had dropped just four points behind his serve, only to lose his way in the tie-break as Tsitsipas edged ahead.
However, in between time Kyrgios demanded a new line judge following one bad call and complained to spectators about another official before serving, at one point prompting Tsitsipas to walk back to his towel amid pantomime boos from the crowd.
Kyrgios received a code violation at 5-4 in the second for swearing followed by a stunning winner from a Tsitsipas overhead to level up.
The sublime immediately returned to the utterly ridiculous, Tsitsipas angrily hitting a ball into the stands to earn a warning of his own, and Kyrgios insisting he be defaulted.
While Kyrgios argued with all and sundry, Tsitsipas took a bathroom break, came back out and complained about the positioning of the towels.
Tsitsipas lost his head completely when Kyrgios held with another underarm serve, lashing out at the ball to earn a point deduction.
The Australian was soon bowing to the crowd after landing a drop shot on top of the net, before it fell Tsitsipas’ side to help clinch the third set and sum up the Greek’s luck.
With the clock ticking towards 9pm, the roof was closed and when hostilities resumed Kyrgios crashed down an ace to take the fourth set to another tie-break.
It was a scintillating climax finished by a drop shot, a wild celebration and confirmation that the Kyrgios roadshow will rumble into the second week.
Rafael Nadal hit form with a 6-1 6-2 6-4 victory over Lorenzo Sonego.
The two-time Wimbledon champion had dropped sets in each of his first two victories at the All England Club this year but had no such problems against the 27th seed on Centre Court.
Nadal was breezing into the fourth round until Sonego successfully managed to get the roof closed while he trailed 4-2 in the third set.
The Italian then broke the 22-time major winner to love under the lights, but an irate Nadal hit straight back before serving the match out to keep his calendar year Grand Slam bid on track.
Cristian Garin reached the fourth round for the second straight year with a 6-2 6-3 1-6 6-4 victory over 29th-seeded Jenson Brooksby.
The 26-year-old Garin, who is ranked 43rd, said he appreciated the chanting from his compatriots in the stands on No 3 Court: “When I hear that, I know that the Chileans are (here) somewhere, so that’s good.”
Taylor Fritz advanced to the fourth round for the first time after a straight-sets victory over Alex Molcan to ensure there will be four American men in the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time since 1999.
The 11th seed joined Tommy Paul, Brandon Nakashima and Frances Tiafoe in the last 16 after he beat the Slovakian 6-4 6-1 7-6 (7-3) on No 3 Court .
He will next face qualifier Jason Kubler for a spot in the quarter-finals after the Australian beat qualifier Jack Sock 6-2 4-6 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.
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