Selfless or stupid? Kyrgios’s big risk
ON a sizzling day in Melbourne it didn't take Nick Kyrgios long to get hot under the collar as he played doubles with fellow Australian Matt Reid.
The day after displaying a new-found maturity much of Australia didn't know he had in his straight sets win over Viktor Troicki, Kyrgios was in no mood to be dudded in the way he was on Wednesday night.
He overcame misbehaving fans, a helicopter and technical difficulties to advance to the third round of the singles draw last night and on a day where the mercury tipped towards 40C, he was no doubt hoping to spend as little time as possible on court in securing victory.
Kyrgios and Reid - who is part of the World No. 17's camp - were playing their opening round match against Americans Nicholas Monroe and John-Patrick Smith in front of a modest crowd on Court 3 and Kyrgios was quick to complain about a perceived injustice.
The 22-year-old was serving in the second game of the set and was confident he and Reid won the first point of the game with a winner. The Americans deliberated before deciding to challenge.
Kyrgios was upset at the umpire for allowing the challenge to go ahead because he said his opponents waited too long before opting to go upstairs.
"You can't let them challenge that late. It's f***ing bulls***," Kyrgios said.
It didn't matter in the end because Hawkeye showed the ball was in and the Aussies won the point before going on to take the game and level things up at 1-1. They then raced to a 3-1 lead and closed out the opening set in style 6-4.
Kyrgios has been heckled in his opening two singles matches but for once it wasn't him receiving all the attention from the crowd on Thursday afternoon. Many fans yelled out encouragement to Reid as they showed the 27-year-old plenty of love.
The very fact Kyrgios was playing doubles at all may have won at least some sceptics over. On the blistering hot afternoon - just one day before his important third round singles clash against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - he was sweating it out under the sun all in the name of helping his partner.
Of all days, this was one where he didn't need to be playing doubles, but he selflessly braved the conditions anyway.
Normally fans need to pay extra to see the prodigious star on one of the main courts but on Court 3, anyone with a ground pass could catch him in action. It's another reason to appreciate his effort.
Of course they may be some who say Kyrgios's decision to partner Reid was stupid. Recovery will be key after enduring the torturous conditions and if his body comes up short when he takes on Tsonga, it may prove his downfall.
Kyrgios cursed himself in the opening game of the second set and points became much more drawn out. The Aussie pairing won the first set in 30 minutes but after 16 minutes in the second, Monroe and Smith boasted a 2-1 lead.
Kyrgios needed some love of his own from his partner early in the second set as he struggled to find his feet. He cursed himself in the opening game of the set and points became much more drawn out. The Aussie pairing won the first set in 30 minutes but after 16 minutes in the second, Monroe and Smith boasted a 2-1 lead.
The set continued to go on serve until it reached 5-5, but the Americans broke to take a 6-5 advantage and held to send the match into a decider.
The final set followed a similar pattern to the second. Neither pair was able to break and at 6-6 the match was in the balance. But Kyrgios and Reid showed composure when it mattered most in a tense tiebreak to book a spot in the second round with a 6-4 5-7 7-6 (7-4) win.
Kyrgios was heard encouraging his partner throughout the match, letting him know whenever he hit a good shot or sent down a quality serve.