The 23rd seed Nick Kyrgios is safely through to the third round of the Australian Open, beating Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours and 49 minutes. Landing 28 aces, Nick lost serve twice and grabbed five breaks to control the pace despite a minor setback in the second set.
With 67 winners and 40 unforced errors, it was another reliable performance from the crowd favorite who lost the temper only a couple of times, having small issues with the chair umpire and telling all kinds of things to his box, something he apologized for after the match.
The Canberra native will now face the 16th seed Karen Khachanov in the third round, standing as the favorite in that one against the Russian who is yet to find the form, barely escaping defeat against Mikael Ymer in Thursday's marathon.
For Mats Wilander, Nick has been as dangerous as ever, looking sharp and focused on the court and presenting a threat for every opponent in the draw, even world no. 1 Rafael Nadal against whom he could play in the blockbuster fourth round.
"Obviously, Nick Kyrgios has a huge heart and spends a lot of time with his NK Foundation in Australia, trying to help underprivileged kids get to the tennis court," Wilander said. "He must feel proud to be a role model for all these kids and it's something he feels he has to live up to on the tennis court as well, especially in Australia.
If you go back, he's been pretty good in Australia when he's had some matches; his problems start abroad. I think Nick is going to mature even more and he has been playing on a very high level so far in Melbourne. He looks good and fit, serving well and representing a massive threat to anyone.
The match against Simon was Kyrgios needed at this stage of the event, getting tested and being forced to raise his level after the one-sided result in the opening two sets."