Nick Kyrgios has once again poked fun at the rankings, opening the US Open wide with a rollicking fourth-round win over world no. 1 and defending champion Daniil Medvedev – and he’s sure to receive praise for his class after the speech the center court.
Risking a default in an explosive encounter brimming with controversy and drama, Kyrgios overcame an ongoing verbal battle with the chair arbiter before beating the top seed 7-6 (13-11), 3-6, 6-6 on Sunday night. 3, 6: 2 ousted.
It was the Wimbledon runners-up’ second loss to Medvedev in three weeks and propelled Kyrgios into the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows for the first time.
After sidetracking the crowd with a typical clash with officials early in the win, the Australian was applauded for his classy remarks right after match point – particularly his heartfelt tribute to his girlfriend Costeen Hatzi.
Kyrgios beamed as he thanked his support team – and particularly partner Costeen Hatzi – after claiming one of the biggest wins of his career
The Aussie bad boy hailed his “amazing girlfriend” Costeen (pictured during the win over Medvedev) and said she and the rest of his team are a big part of his success in 2022
“It was a great game, Daniil is the defending champion and he would have had a lot of pressure on his shoulders,” he said.
“But the way I’ve played over the past few months has been fantastic.
“I just work hard every day to make every training session count. I probably would have been outside every night before to fall asleep.
“I have a great friend who helps me. My team, my physiotherapist, my whole team.
“I’m really happy and I hope to continue. I want to go all the way, hopefully it’s possible.’
The 27-year-old is finally realizing his great potential and will play another Russian Karen Khachanov for a place in the semifinals on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST).
The Australian took a bow after beating the defending US Open champion in four sets
Kyrgio’s former longtime girlfriend Ajla Tomljanovic also played in her fourth-round match on Sunday against in-form Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova, who was looking to give Australia two quarter-finalists for the first time this century in New York.
Kyrgios was now three wins away from breaking his Grand Slam title duck and was bossy at times.
He received a standing ovation from the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium after winning a vibrant opening set that spanned more than an hour.
Other times he flirts with disaster.
He appeared to have thrown the opener away after giving up a 4-2 lead and then a 4-1 advantage in the tiebreak, not to mention the threat of hitting the self-destruct button and an unnecessary, drawn-out exchange of blows with the Greek referee Eva Asderaki-Moore.
The combustible Canberran berated Asderaki-Moore for appearing to have started the shot clock too early.
After yelling at his support crew (pictured in the front row with Costeen Hatzi on the far right) in his second round match, Kyrgios had nothing but praise for them after his immense win
The Aussie blew up match officials again and was booed for it – but won the crowd with his 7-6 (13-11) 3-6 6-3 6-2 win
“You are the only referee I have a problem with on this matter,” Kyrgios cheered her on.
“Use your common sense. Use it just a little.’
But after regaining his composure and repelling three set points, Kyrgios brought out a fourth of his own with an exquisite backhand drop shot that nearly flipped back to his side of the net.
It was probably the shot of the entire game, and he duly snatched the set when Medvedev sent a forehand wide after 63 minutes of quality tennis.
But it didn’t take long for tensions to really boil over.
Medvedev fumed at the referee for failing to warn Kyrgios after the Australian, frustrated at losing an early break in set number two, walked inches from a ball into the front row of the stands and likely a spectator.
Medvedev then threatened to quit unless someone from Kyrgios’ entourage was ejected on the sidelines for disrupting the top seed between his first and second serves.
“They can’t do that,” Medvedev raged.
“If they do it a second time, I’m not playing that they’re out until someone’s out.”
Victory over Medvedev (pictured right after match point) propels the Australian into the Quarters on Wednesday morning Australian time
After leveling the game to one set apiece, Medvedev received an extraordinary, possibly unprecedented, gift from Kyrgios.
After appearing to have grabbed a break point in the second game of the third set when Medvedev failed to return ball, Kyrgios sprinted around the net in celebration and slapped the ball away for a mock winner.
Asderaki-Moore rightly awarded the point to Medvedev because the Russian’s shot didn’t go over the net but was “still in play”.
“I thought it was legal,” Kyrgios said, shaking off the error somewhat uncharacteristically before breaking Medvedev on his next service game to take a 3-1 lead and then a two sets to one took over.
Kyrgios turned things around with another break in the third game of the fourth set, then conceded an audible obscenity in the following game.
But it didn’t matter as Kyrgios caught a double break after two hours and 53 minutes and went to his 20th win in his last 23 games.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-11180041/Nick-Kyrgios-tribute-girlfriend-Costeen-Hatzi-humble-speech-Open-win-Medvedev.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Nick Kyrgios’ tribute to his girlfriend Costeen Hatzi in humble speech after US Open win over Medvedev