Nick Kyrgios battles back from the jaws of defeat to clinch victory over Ugo Humbert in electric five-set thriller at the Australian Open and set up third-round tie with last year’s finalist Dominic Thiem
- Nick Kyrgios edged past Ugo Humbert in a tense five-set match to progress
- The Australian battled back from 2-1 to take the final decisive last two sets
- Kyrgios will now face Dominic Thiem in the Australian Open third round
Nick Kyrgios brought the Australian Open to its feet by staging a rousing comeback to confound his doubters.
The enfant terrible of the game saved two match points in the fourth set before overcoming the talented Frenchman Ugo Humbert 5-7 6-4 3-6 7-6 6-4 to inject a shot of electricity and provide the best atmosphere of the tournament so far.
It took him three hours and 25 minutes to complete the win and set up a third round against last year’s beaten finalist, Dominic Thiem.
An exhausted Nick Kyrgios fell to his knees in celebration after completing his comeback win
Kyrgios had to dig deep against Ugo Humbert (R) to progress to Australian Open third round
The Australian applauded the crowd, who provided the best atmosphere of the tournament
The 25 year-old Australian just about managed to keep his composure and his questionable fitness levels passed the test in a late night deciding set.
He received a point penalty for racket abuse and unsportsmanlike conduct earlier in the match, but was supremely cool at the end of the fourth when the French lefthander served for the match at 5-4.
His wonderfully loose arm saw him combine power serving that delivered 30 aces , deft touches and showboating, with Humbert rattled by the kind of partisan crowd sport has been so badly missing. There were also repeat rows over the malfunctioning of the net cord monitor.
The controversial Kyrgios argued with the chair umpire during his tense match with Humbert
Frenchman Humbert took the first and third set to leave the home favourite with it all to do
Kyrgios stayed in his mental zone in the late night decider to break for 2-1 and then his serve was enough to see him home.
‘If you were in my head I was thinking of all the shit I was going to cop if I lost that match,’ he said. ‘I don’t know how I did that. It’s one of the craziest matches I have ever played. That tends to be my career.
‘He is a heck of a player. I haven’t played for a year but the one thing I had on him was experience.’
But the Australian battled back to win a tie-breaker in the fourth before clinching victory
The 25-year-old will now take on last year’s beaten finalist Dominic Thiem in the third round