Kyrgios thrilled with win over hero Tsonga

Australian Open

Nick Kyrgios admitted it was a personal thrill to beat his childhood hero Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round at Melbourne Park.

The Australian has made it clear how badly he wants to be in the mix for the title with his professional approach so far and he proved the stronger in the big moments to win 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 7-6 (8/6) 7-6 (7/5).

Kyrgios attended the 2008 tournament, when Tsonga reached the final, as a 12-year-old fan and took a ball to each of the Frenchman’s practice sessions to get autographed.

Kyrgios had a bit of a letdown in the second set but proved the king of the tie-break, winning five points in a row in the final one and celebrating his victory with an exuberant pump of the fists.

“It was amazing,” he said. “I’d never won a match on this court. Playing Jo I was obviously very nervous. He was a guy I looked up to as a kid, still do, he’s a champion of the game.

“I was getting prepared for a fifth set. I just stayed composed, tried to make returns and fired it through. I’ve got doubles tomorrow and then I’ve got a tough match against (Grigor) Dimitrov.”

Kyrgios felt added tension because of the presence court-side of Hollywood star Will Smith. “I was so nervous when I saw him,” said the 22-year-old. “People think I’m cool but I just wanted him to think I was the coolest person ever.”

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