Nick Kyrgios roadshow hits top gear in DC as he gifts elderly fan a towel and gives umpire a code violation

Shahida Jacobs
Nick Kyrgios reacts

Nick Kyrgios “found his best tennis” against Tommy Paul as he eased past the American in an entertaining encounter to reach the third round of the Citi Open.

There was a kind-hearted gesture to an elderly fan, a round the back shot and a bit of an argument with the umpire as the spectators on Stadium Court were given the full Kyrgios experience.

More importantly for the Australian, he produced clinical tennis as he brushed aside 14th seed Paul 6-3, 6-4 in under 90 minutes in Washington DC.

It was his second win over the American this year as he also beat Paul in Houston in April.

“I always seem to find my best tennis when I play Tommy,” Kyrgios after his win. “I played pretty two flawless matches from a return and serve standpoint.”

The world No 63 was clinical as he started the match by breaking the Paul serve in the opening game and a second break in game nine sealed the set.

The opening set also saw the softer sides of both Paul and Kyrgios as a ball flew into the crowd and hit an elderly spectator. Paul immediately went over to the woman and Kyrgios soon joined before the Australian handed her a towel.

But the woman wasn’t too sure about the gift as she asked the fan next to her: “What is this for?”

The action continued and Paul had a sniff in game five of the second set as he had three break points and Kyrgios then lashed out at his players box, shouting: “It’s game point and you’re just f***ing sitting there.”

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The Australian held firm and then claimed the crucial break himself in game 10, but there was a bit of drama late in the game after Paul saved a match point with a forehand winner. Kyrgios showed his frustration and was given a code violation for ball abuse.

He then told the chair umpire: “What about a code violation for the bad idea by you to slow the game down?”

Kyrgios will face Reilly Opelka for a place in the quarter-final after the fourth seed won an all-American clash against Denis Kudla 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-4.

Tenth seed Frances Tiafoe also reached the third round, beating fellow American Chris Eubanks, to book a date with eighth seed Botic van de Zandschulp.

Sixth seed Denis Shapovalov was the big casaulty on Wednesday as the Canadian suffered a 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 defeat at the hands of American JJ Wolff, who will face ninth seed Holger Rune next.