Australia’s Nick Kyrgios has shown that he is a worthy top-ten player.
If not for the points not being awarded from Wimbledon, Kyrgios would be at world no. 7 in the live rankings.
Kyrgios showed his recent form is no fluke as he again defeated world no. 1 and the defending champion Daniil Medvedev.
The loss for Medvedev will see him lose the no. 1 ranking in men’s tennis.
Kyrgios is in career-best form and he jumped out to a 4-2 lead after breaking Medvedev’s serve in the sixth game after a forehand unforced error from the world no. 1.
The lead was short-lived as Medvedev broke back in the next game. From there the service games were held to send the first set to a breaker.
Kyrgios opened with an Ace. The next two points were split after Medvedev hit a winner and then Kyrgios matched that effort.
A backhand unforced error from Medvedev gave Kyrgios a handy 3-1 lead which he added to with a backhand volley winner.
Medvedev then got back into the breaker with a winner then an Ace. A Kyrgios Ace and it was 5-3.
The Russian then won three straight points to hold a set point at 6-5, but on the serve of Kyrgios. A forced error saw the score at 6-6 after a 132 mph serve out wide was hit long on the return.
Kyrgios hit a forehand long to give Medvedev another set point, but on his serve. Kyrgios saved it brilliantly when he blasted a down the line backhand winner from inside the baseline.
An Ace and a third set point. Kyrgios missed his first serve but got a good deep second serve to keep the breaker alive. Kyrgios moved to the net and volleyed down the line and just caught the line by 1 millimeter. 8-8.
A big serve down the T from Kyrgios could not be returned and the Australian had a set point. An Ace and it was 9-9.
Another set point came up for Kyrgios after Medvedev hit just over the baseline.
After a long rally it was Kyrgios that folded after hitting a backhand into the net. The next point saw Kyrgios hit a drop shot from the baseline. Medvedev got to the ball but hit a cross court shot into the net. 10-11.
Medvedev got to the net to force an error from the Australian, 11-11. A rediculous angle on a drop shot that was a winner and Kyrgios had yet another set point. Kyrgios faked a drop shot but the pushed the ball deep, Medvedev hit wide and the set was over.
The Australian headed to the change room just off court to get changed.
Medvedev then raced to a 4-0 lead in the second set. He would close it out at 6-3 to level the match.
Kyrgios had a scary moment at 0-1, 15-30 in the third set when he lost his footing and fell heavily onto his back. He would get up and continue.
It would prove to be an interesting game. At 30-30 Kyrgios hit a hard forehand at Medvedev who was near the net. The Russian hit a volley that went up high on his side but was going to land wide.
Kyrgios ran around the net to be near the doubles side line and he volleyed into the court of Medvedev.
The Australian held up an arm and smiled after completing an astounding point, only to hear that he lost the point. It should have been a break point for Kyrgios.
Medvedev instead held for 1-1.
From there Kyrgios found the resolve to comfortably win the next two sets to claim a famous victory.
The final score was 7-6(11), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. The match lasted 2 hours and 54 minutes ending with an Ace from the Australian.
Next up is another Russian, Karen Khachanov, the world no. 31. The head-to-head is 1-1. Kyrgios most recently won a classic five setter at the Australian Open in 2020.
Kyrgios moves up seven places to No. 18 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings and has replaced Alex de Minaur as Australia’s highest-ranked player. He has not been ranked that high since August 2018. The Australian was World No. 137 six months ago on 22 February.
“I just feel like I’m playing for a lot more than myself. I’ve just got a lot of people, a lot of support, and on the flip side I got a lot of people doubting me and trying to bring me down all the time as well. I’ve got a lot of motivation in the back of my mind,” Kyrgios said. “I’ve been away from home now for four months. My whole team has. We don’t get to see our family like other tennis players do the majority of time. I’m trying to make it worthwhile, trying to make it a memorable ride for all of us. Hopefully we can get it done, go back home and really celebrate.”
“Obviously winning helps. I’ve been winning a lot this year. The motivation has been there. It’s easy to train. It’s easier to wake up obviously when things are going great,” Kyrgios said. “I was just really sick of letting people down. I don’t know, just feeling like that. I feel like I’m making people proud now.”
“It’s a great win. But I come off the court and I’m just almost relieved that it’s over because there’s just so much pressure every time I go out on court, so much expectation, so much unpredictability of what I can do,” Kyrgios said. “I just sit there in the locker room after and I’m just super proud of the performance because there was really a time where I didn’t think I was capable of producing and doing this any more.”
Kyrgios talks about that shot
“I think I had probably the most boneheaded play of all time tonight. I thought it was legal to be honest. I genuinely thought it was legal,” Kyrgios said in an interview with ESPN. “I thought I was playing the concrete streets of my suburb in Canberra. That’s something I would do there and I realised that it wasn’t legal. You can see my face… I was so happy. I was like, ‘That’s the best shot ever’ and it wasn’t legal. But it was fun.”