Nick Kyrgios has left the world of tennis stunned with one of the ballsiest plays imaginable, while he was match point down in Cincinnati.
Kyrgios overcame the embarrassment of forgetting his tennis shoes to battle through to the second round of the Cincinnati Open with a three-set victory over American qualifier Denis Kudla.
The Aussie’s thrilling win was typified by an astonishingly brave play on his second serve when he was match point down in the third set tie-breaker.
Rather than play it conservatively, knowing he was a whisker away from exiting the tournament, Kyrgios went for broke in a way only he seems to know how to.
The 23-year-old rifled down a staggering 214km/h second serve ace to leave his opponent, fans and commentators completely gobsmacked.
“You cannot be serious,” Robbie Koenig exclaimed in commentary.
— Marina Y. (@myudanov) August 14, 2018
Who other than Kyrgios drops a 134 mph ace on second serve match point down?
— Kyro (@Kyro7) August 14, 2018
Down match point, Kyrgios hits 133 mph SECOND serve ace! Who even tries that?
— First Ball In (@FBITennis) August 14, 2018
The mercurial Kyrgios – who fired 39 aces and a raft of superb winners – said he simply had to back the weapon that is his serve.
“[In my mind] I don’t feel as if I can miss that serve again, so I just go for it,” Kyrgios said.
“It came off today, but obviously some days it’s not going to work. But on days like today, obviously it got me the win.”
The Australian 15th seed held up the start of play as he was seen searching his kit bag on court before admitting to officials he hadn’t packed his trainers.
“Wait, what?” Kyrgios could be heard saying on camera as he went through the various compartments of his tennis bag before swearing when he clicked on to what had happened.
After walking around the side of the court in his dark grey socks to find someone who could retrieve his shoes, the embarrassed world No.18 then told his bemused opponent: “I left my tennis shoes in the locker room, sorry man.”
After a tournament aide came to the rescue by retrieving his required footwear, which meant he didn’t have to play in the basketball shoes he walked on to court in, last year’s tournament runner-up wrapped up a nervy 6-7 (7-2) 7-5 7-6 (9-7) victory in one hour and 58 minutes.
Despite his win at the ATP Masters 1000 event, there were concerns for Kygrios, who showed signs of being troubled by injury as he secured a showdown with Croatian Borna Coric, a 6-2 6-3 winner over Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev.