It was another typical Nick Kyrgios performance as he came through the second round of the Australian Open to move a step closer to a showdown with Rafael Nadal.
The Australian overcame a third-set blip to defeat Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in just under three hours on Melbourne Arena.
Kyrgios was his brilliant best in the opening two sets as he broke twice in the first set and in game one of the second to ease to a two-set lead.
After breaking early in the third set, the 23rd seed looked set for an easy three-set win, but he lost his way as Simon won the final four games of the set.
During the third set, Kyrgios was given a warning for time violation and then decided to impersonate world No 1 Nadal, whom he is not a big fan of and someone whom he could meet in the fourth round, and Simon got in on the act too.
Kyrgios and Simon give their best Nadal impersonations when given their respective time violations. 😂
They seem pretty spot on!
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) January 23, 2020
Then just before the fourth set Kyrgios also had a go at his support group as he was overheard saying: “So creative. Out of all the things you could say: ‘Stay tough.’ Thanks, man. Thanks. ‘Stay tough.’That’s what I get. Every break point: ‘Stay tough.’ Wow. wow. wow.”
He eventually found his rhythm again and a single break of serve in game 11 got him over the line.
“I could have gone to a very dark place in the fourth set but I put it away,” Kyrgios said.
“I definitely lost my way a little bit. It would have been very interesting if it went to a fifth set.”
Next up is 16th seed Karen Khachanov after the Russian came through five-set battle against Mikael Ymer from Sweden, winning 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8).
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