Nick Kyrgios is through to the second round at Wimbledon after beating rising French star, Ugo Humbert, in five sets for the second time at a grand slam this year.
“Not too bad for a part time player,’’ Kyrgios said after securing the match 9-7 in the fifth set, referring to the few matches he has played in the past 18 months.
“It didn’t take me much to get me off the couch in Canberra, Australia. Wimbledon is one of my favourite events, it was an easy decision for me.”
Kyrgios’ second clash with the 23-year-old this season featured its fair share of drama.
The match resumed precariously poised at 3-all in the fifth set after Wimbledon’s 11pm curfew cut the match short on Thursday morning (AEST).
About 16 hours later, the pair resumed play. After four relatively routine holds from both players, Kyrgios pounced.
At 7-all, he forced three break points on Humbert’s serve. He took the third opportunity.
The 26-year-old saved two break points while serving for the match before claiming his first match point in typical Kyrgios style – with a big first serve down the middle.
But it was the slickness of the grass that almost cost Kyrgios the victory when, at 6-6 in the fifth set, he hurt his hip while doing the splits at the back of the court.
After rolling around for a few seconds, Kyrgios resumed play but was initially hampered in his movements, relying instead on his lethal serve.
“I was always gonna get up and play with one leg, I was going to finish the match,” he said, before adding: “I am not the most flexible bloke so anytime my legs spread a little bit apart, its like ‘argh’, it was pretty brutal.”
One service game later, Kyrgios pounced on his first opportunity to break Humbert’s serve and didn’t look back.
Having beaten the 21st seed 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 9-7, Kyrgios’ portion of the draw has now opened up. He will play world No. 77 Gianluca Mager in the second round.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald.