Nick Kyrgios kicks and screams his way to epic comeback win

Nick Kyrgios scores incredible comeback win at Australian Open, to face Dominic Thiem next

Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios saved two match points on his way to a 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 comeback victory over Frenchman Ugo Humbert in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Roared on by a crowd making up in passion for what they lacked in numbers, Kyrgios scrapped his way back into the contest time and again to secure a third-round date with US Open champion Dominic Thiem.

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He triggered bedlam when he dug deep to save Humbert’s match points in the fourth set and proceeded to even up the contest by dominating the tiebreak.

There were also the extras that showman Kyrgios brings to the court — an underarm serve, some exquisite shot-making and a running row with the umpire over net cord calls.

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A ball fired off his racket in one moment of frustration hit the umpire’s chair and cost him a point but there was to be no denying the 25-year-old.

The crowd exploded one final time after nearly 3 1/2 hours when Humbert sent a backhand return sailing wide of the line.

Dark thoughts

“I don’t how I did that, honestly, that is one of the craziest matches I’ve ever played,” said Kyrgios.

“It was a strange match, if you guys were inside my head, there were some dark thoughts in there.

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“It’s my career, I live to fight another day and hopefully I can continue to play tennis in front of you guys,” he added, to another huge round of applause from the crowd.

Kyrgios had not played for a year before the Australian Open warm-up tournaments after deciding to stay at home during the pandemic and knew he would be up against it facing 22-year-old Humbert.

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The 25-year-old struggled with his emotions during the match, clashing with the umpire and the indulging in a bit of racket-hurling as the crowd on John Cain Arena laughed.

Trouble over net cord

Early in the match, Kyrgios was distracted by what seemed to be a faulty automatic net cord, which, according to the Australian, robbed him and Humbert of a number of aces.

“Turn it off. [Umbert’s] serve missed by that much,” Kyrgios said to chair umpire Marijana Veljovic in the first set, while gesturing a six-inch gap with his hands.

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“It’s ruining the game. Do you understand it? You don’t understand it. It’s ruining the game. How do you understand it?

“Turn it off bro. It’s this high off the net. I’m not playing until you turn it off. Even on his serve it’s up this far. It’s not just my serve.”

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But the Australian overcame the problem and ‘dark thoughts’ in his head to script one of his best comeback wins. After clinching the match, a drained Kyrgios fell to his knees before acknowledging the crowd that had taken him over the finishing line.