"Like at this stage in my career, I feel old. I just want to have a glass of red wine man, after a match like that," Nick Kyrgios said with beads of perspiration wetting his face. He just described his emotions after a tough five set victory (5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4) against France's Ugo Humbert.
The Aussie was definitely in his element, his home country and feeling the love from a half-filled stadium. He knew he had to push the envelope and capture a win or he'd hear it from his countrymen. "I'm still kind of in awe about the atmosphere," he said with a boyish grin.
Kyrgios struggled to save a few match points in the nail-biting fourth set as the Frenchman served to win the match. But when the Australian won the tiebreak it was food for his appetite on getting down and gritty to surpass Humbert.
Kyrgios had felt deeply the frustration of having lost two sets on his back and was determined not to have any more. The match flip-flopped now being in Kyrgios hands. He was more reserved and his ability to turn out winners at the right time was done.
But yet in every Kyrgios match there has to be a bit of drama and it appeared when he started his demand of getting rid of the 'let' calling machine. He had summoned the chair umpire Marijana Veljovic in the first set about the malfunction of the let machine as he protested that many of his serves were going way over the net.
The 'cyclops' equipment was giving beeps calling it a let and he didn't like it a bit. He started to boil his temper and smashed his racket getting a code violation from Veljovic. The 3rd set he'd fume again and slammed a ball into the umpire's chair.
He was lucky not to be penalized for a game violation and the match continued. But his screaming pleads of "Will you turn it off? I'm not playing until you turn it off," went unheard by the umpire as she calmly dealt with his precocious behavior.
The match continued.
The Aussie's unforced sets turned into defiance and skill, making clutch winners when needed. "That was still one of the most crazy matches..." Nick Kyrgios shook his head in disbelief.
Many were shaking their heads about Nick's traditional fiery behavior at chair umpires. It was soon that the Aussie's temper did fizzle with him saying "I don't know. I don't have the solution...maybe they need to upgrade their technology?" The match came to a climactic end when Humbert's return flew long and Kyrgios slumped onto the court on his knees in exaltation of his 5-set victory.
Despite it all during the press conference Kyrgios talked of the crowd, his performance and most gracious of his opponent Ugo Humbert's performance. "He's a heck of a player...he's a lefty, he's got a good serve...he can hit the wide on the deuce...good backhand, good forehand.
He's a good competitor...he's definitely one to watch out for..." When told of his next opponent being the 3rd ranking Dominic Thiem, he smiled and said "..I'm hurting just thinking about playing him right now."