Red hot Kyrgios stuns superstar in fiery win

Temper tantrums, smashed racquets and heated disputes with the umpire again featured heavily, as Nick Kyrgios scored an upset win over world No.6 Stefanos Tsitsipas in Halle.

In what was his best win of the year in the lead up to a Wimbledon tournament missing four of the world’s top 10 men’s players to injury and suspension, Kyrgios’ game was sparkling.

However, his wizardry with the racquet was in stark contrast to his volatile behavior in between points, with the Aussie admitting after the match he was on the verge of quitting.

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Despite the emotional rollercoaster, he still managed to come from a set down to knock out the second seed 5-7 6-2 6-4, in the Wimbledon warm-up tournament held in Germany.

The former Wimbledon quarter-finalist looked at home on grass but had to do it the hard way when he lost the opening set. Frustrations started to boil over soon after when the world No.65 mangled his racquet beyond recognition, repeatedly hammering it against the side of his court-side seat.

The chair umpire Timo Janzen delivered the Aussie a code violation for the blow-up, and then a heated argument in the second set ensued after he was penalized for a time violation on Tsitsipas’ serve.

Kyrgios had kept Tsitsipas waiting to serve according to Janzen, which didn’t sit well with the 27-year-old who protested, took a seat and demanded the supervisor be called before he went back on court.

The Australian Open doubles champion disputed the call, saying he was among the quickest players on tour, while also taking a poke at 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal and his infamous time-management issues.

“This happens every match, I’ve waited so many times for Rafa (Nadal),” he was heard saying.

Speaking after the match, Kyrgios said he was close to walking off but encouragement from his team helped him navigate several emotional moments throughout.

“My team. My girlfriend, my physio, my best friend, my manager, they just kept me in it, got me over the line,” Kyrgios said.

“At times, I felt like giving up, frustrated, and Stef was rolling but, I don’t know, they somehow dug me out of a hole.”

Kyrgios took exception to the time violation call in the second set and said it was mainly for show.

“Umpires, I don’t think they understand… Everyone here in Halle was looking forward to seeing me and Stef play, they (umpires) just want to be relevant,” he said.

“The match was going fine, the crowd was enjoying it – it was completely unnecessary.

“As you can see from the scoreboard, I focused pretty well. Lost the first set, and regained my focus and got it done.”

It was Kyrgios’ 24th victory over a top-10 player – an impressive feat, especially since he’s never ranked inside the top 10 throughout his career, with his highest ranking coming in 2016 when he reached No.13 in the world.

He plays Carreno Busta next, who defeated in-form American Sebastian Korda 6-4 0-6 6-3.

World No.1 and top seed Daniil Medvedev advanced by beating David Goffin 6-3 6-2, while defending champion Ugo Humbert was knocked out by Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

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