For a second successive week, Nick Kyrgios threw a tantrum but while it contributed to his loss in Stuttgart last week, it didn’t at Halle Open on Wednesday when he upset the second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 5-7 6-2 6-4 in what was an excellent tennis performance.
On grass, you know, I would be top five, top 10 in the world, definitely Nick Kyrgios
Last week in Stuttgart he lost his cool and smashed his racket when he dropped the first set to Andy Murray and never recovered. This time he also lost his composure after conceding the opening set by again smashing his racket but recovered and contributed to what proved a close match between the pair preparing for Wimbledon, by reaching the last eight.
Kyrgios had been unhappy at the Hawkeye calls and complained to the umpire prior to the incident but managed to avoid a game penalty escaping with just a warning. He later donated the broken racket to a spectator.
The Aussie, world ranked 65, then turned the match around to set-up a quarter final clash with Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta, a 6-4 0-6 6-3 winner over Sebastian Korda of the US.
Kyrgios had said prior to his meeting with the Greek star, that he was “feeling good on grass” and that he ‘felt really comfortable on it.”
He also believes that if tennis was restricted to grass, he would be up there with the best.
“On grass, you know, I would be top five, top 10 in the world, definitely,” he told Tennis TV.
However, he is yet to win a title on grass and his best result at Wimbledon was in 2014 when he lost to Milos Raonic in the quarter finals. More recently he hasn’t gone past the third round but is always a threat at SW19.
“Nick is actually trained and focused on this season, so this is a good start to the grass-court season. If there is any player in the field outside of Novak [Djokovic] that can play well enough and beat everyone on grass, it’s Nick,” Todd Woodbridge, the Aussie doubles legend told Nine’s Sports last Sunday.
“So, it’s about, ‘How does he deal with the expectation as he goes into this one this time?’
“He is a legitimate force and chance to go deep at Wimbledon.
“It’ll depend on his draw. That’s significant. We don’t want him coming up in a section that Novak might be, which is a possibility.
“But I think a semi is realistic this year. And if he gets to the semi and his body’s OK and the head’s still on the shoulders, anything can happen.”
In other action the top-seeded Daniil Medvedev cleared up his first round match with a 6-3 6-2 win over Belgium’s David Goffin, while in second round matches Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated American Mackenzie McDonald 7-6(7) 6-1 and Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz took out the Frenchman Ugo Humbert 7-6(5) 6-3.
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios shake hands after the tight match
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