His mid-match meltdown and subsequent victory stole most of the attention, but largely lost in Nick Kyrgios’ win at the Australian Open on Thursday was a brilliant moment of sportsmanship.
Early in the first set of his clash with Gilles Simon, the Frenchman was robbed of a point he won fairly when the chair umpire said he didn’t get to the ball before the second bounce.
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Simon did in fact get to the ball before it hit the ground, going on to win the point a few shots later.
But because the umpire intervened early and made the wrong call, they technically had to play a let and replay the point.
However Kyrgios showed some brilliant sportsmanship by overruling the umpire and conceding the point.
He then had quite a measured response and kept his cool while questioning the umpire about it at the change of ends.
“Why did you say something during the point,” Kyrgios asked.
“He was always going to get there. Bro, he’s lightning.”
Tennis great Jim Courier led the praise.
“Good sportsmanship by Nick to give him the point. He knew it was the wrong call,” Courier said in commentary for Channel Nine.
Kyrgios cuts the bulls**t
Kyrgios knew he had to "cut the bulls***" as his on-court antics threatened to derail another Australian Open campaign.
The Australian No.2 was coasting to a routine second-round win over Simon, but as the finish line approached - up 4-2 with the break in the third set - the 23rd seed lost his way.
Two straight double faults from Kyrgios handed Simon a lifeline, with the former world No.6 gratefully accepting to force a fourth set.
In the aftermath, the Aussie directed his fury toward his player's box, which included Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt.
"Of all the things you could say on break point, 'stay tough'," he bellowed.
"That's what I get, every break point, 'stay tough' ... wow.
"So creative, so creative."
But rather than let the blip become a full-blown meltdown, Kyrgios hit the reset button to bounce back and score a 6-2 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory.
"I just put my head down," Kyrgios said.
"I lost my way a little bit in the third set. I put my head down, I told myself 'just cut the bulls*** and just get to work'.
"I got the break at five-all. It was a good feeling to get through that."