ATP Cup: Stefanos Tsitsipas should have been defaulted vs. Nick Kyrgios



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ATP Cup: Stefanos Tsitsipas should have been defaulted vs. Nick Kyrgios

On Tuesday, Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas played one of the most entertaining and thrilling matches at this year's ATP Cup, with the Aussie prevailing 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, in two hours and 34 minutes! It was a fantastic battle between two explosive and crafty rivals who produced a barrage of powerful strokes and attacking tennis of the highest order.

Kyrgios grabbed four points more, landing 25 aces and dropping only 26 points behind the initial shot in the entire encounter. He had to play against only two break chances while Tsitsipas bested that despite the fact he won only 15 out of 38 points on the second serve, surviving one break chance offered to Kyrgios and staying in touch until 5-5 in the deciding tie break, only to finish on the losing side.

This extraordinary clash could have lasted only for a set, though, with Tsitsipas hitting his father's right arm with a racquet after losing the opening set, making a little cut and causing angry reactions from both father and mother who came down to the players' box to speak with his son.

Instead of being defaulted, Stefanos went unpunished by Mohamed Lahyani, continuing the match and almost scoring the victory in the end. Producing clinical serving display, two rivals reached 5-5 in 25 minutes, racing towards the tie break after a tricky hold for Stefanos in game 11 following three deuces.

The breaker offered drama and excitement, with the Greek coming back from 5-3 down and standing two points away from the set three times, only to lose it 9-7 after a forced error created by Nick's forehand and showing that antics on his bench that could have caused his first default in a career.

The second set saw two break chances for the Greek in the third game denied by Kyrgios who held following a point penalty for Tsitsipas who slammed one ball towards his box. Staying neck and neck, the rivals hit another tie break and this time it was the Greek who grabbed it 7-3 with a service winner to deliver a decider.

There, Stefanos repelled one break point in the seventh game to remain on the positive side of the scoreboard until the tie break that kept them locked at 5-5 for a peak drama on both the court and the stands. Booming second serve sent Nick 6-5 in front and it was all over when he landed a backhand return winner to seal the deal and claim one of the biggest wins ever in terms of the constant excitement and thrill of the single encounter.