The return of the public to the stands was one of the reasons the tennis players who attended the Australian Open were delighted. But no one appreciated the support of the fans more than Nick Kyrgios, who sought the strength to save two match points and qualify for the third round of his Open – the second tournament he has played since tennis ended in March. On Wednesday night, Kyrgios’ determination was in and the level of the game made him forget his “bad boy” fame and the limited number of viewers delighted.
“To be honest, I don’t know how I did it. This was one of the craziest encounters I’ve ever played. I’m still in awe of the environment, it didn’t look like it was half full, ”the Australian admitted after defeating the great hope of French tennis, Ugo Humbert, 34th world champion at 22, 5-7 would have. 6-4, 3 -6, 7-6 (7/2) and 6-4 in three and a half hours.
“I haven’t competed much in a year but I think I had the experience for everything I’ve been through on this course and tried to lean on,” said the Australian, recalling the win in the same John Cain Arena in 2020 over Karen Khachanov, in five sets, four of them got a tie in four and a half hours.
Kyrgios played with joy, translated into fast service games, aces in second service at 219 km / h, services “from below”, careless volleys and breathtaking winners from the back of the court. The ingredients necessary to lift the audience from their chairs. Just as talented, but more relaxed, Humbert played his game, broke the fourth set and had two options to end with 5: 4 – the second round with a spectacular pass shot for the left hand.
Kyrgios’ next opponent is Dominic Thiem, who advanced on the board and won in three sets, as did Alexander Zverev and Denis Shapovalov, while Novak Djokovic gave Frances Tiafoe a set.
Stan Wawrinka had to pause and was defeated by Marton Fucsovics (55). The 2014 champions postponed the elimination by regaining the break when the Hungarian served 5: 3 in the fifth set but missed three match points in the decisive tie (6: 9) and finally scored 7: 5, 6: 1 4- 6, 2-6 and 7-6 (9/11).
In the women’s category, three Grand Slam champions were eliminated: Bianca Andreescu, Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams.
Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams, Garbiñe Muguruza and Iga Swiantek, who also hold majors, went into the third round.