‘Part-timer’ Nick Kyrgios has finally earned his beer after edging out Frenchman Ugo Humbert in five-set first-round thriller at Wimbledon
- Nick Kyrgios sealed his spot in Wimbledon’s second round in thrilling style
- The Australian edged out Ugo Humbert in five sets, winning 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-1 9-7
- Kyrgios was his charismatic self during the first-round match at SW19
Amid the hullabaloo of excitement in the stands of Court One on Wednesday, Nick Kyrgios just wanted a beer.
Back to resume his first-round match against Ugo Humbert that was paused at 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 3-3 on Tuesday night, the Aussie moaned to an official in the tunnel: ‘I just want to get it over and done with to be honest, I’m so tired. I just want a beer in the hotel bar.’
Kyrgios and Humbert were escorted off at the 11pm curfew with the match in the balance. On it went for almost three hours, roof closed, London masked by darkness as they thrashed out four thrilling sets.
Nick Kyrgios celebrates his thrilling five-set victory over Ugo Humbert on Court One
Kyrgios looked exhausted when he departed and he appeared equally as shattered on Wednesday morning.
Wimbledon is his first tournament outside Australia since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and only his third since Acapulco last February.
‘Underdog’ has become his go-to buzzword. His inactivity was not something he could ‘turn on and off’ like a tap, he said.
But just at the moment he looked completely uninterested — his love-hate relationship with this sport perfectly captured in a 30-second tunnel conversation — he put on a show.
Humbert served, the match back underway, and immediately Kyrgios was captivating.
The Australian was his charismatic self throughout Wednesday’s action at Wimbledon
Trailing 40-30 in that first game, a phone went off behind the Australian and he conceded a forced forehand error. Humbert held. Kyrgios went from simmering to the boil in an instant.
‘What the f*** are you doing?’ he said, having turned to the fan. ‘It’s ridiculous. You’re so annoying.’
But on it went. His body language suggested he was thinking more about that beer menu at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel than Humbert’s serve as they shared games through to 6-6 with relative ease.
Drama stalks Kyrgios and it is what makes him such compelling viewing. He alone was worth the price of admission on Wednesday.
Kyrgios edged out his French opponent in five sets, winning 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-1 9-7 on Court One
His footing eluded him in the opening point at 6-6, allowing Humbert to make it 15-0.
Kyrgios screamed obscenities in pain, clutching his hip. Slippery courts have troubled Andy Murray and Serena Williams already this week and here was Kyrgios looking like Bambi on ice.
On came the supervisor, ashen-faced at another star hitting the deck. Kyrgios got up gingerly and then flicked a switch.
A knowing look over to girlfriend Chiara Passari, who has flown over to be with him in the bubble, spoke volumes amid the mania surrounding this match. Stealing serve at 7-7 broke Humbert — who was Kyrgios’s last victim way back in January at the Australian Open in five sets — and it also appeared to break the Frenchman’s spirit.
Kyrgios refused to let his grip loosen and, having been pushed to a deuce, he held impressively with a service winner. The ‘underdog’ had done it.
Kyrgios tumbles due to the slippery conditions at SW19, which have marred the first week
‘Not too bad for a part-time player,’ he joked. ‘It didn’t take much to get me off the couch in Canberra. I love Wimbledon, I love playing here.
‘I was in so much pain when I got back (on Tuesday). It’s been a while since I’ve played, so I rolled into bed.’
He was then asked how he was going to celebrate his first win in five months.
‘I’m just going to go to the hotel, play Call of Duty with my girlfriend and then come back out and try to win again. It’s simple, it’s pretty easy.’