Nick Kyrgios has left tennis fans in a state of disbelief after an outrageous moment in his round of 16 win against second seed Stefanos Tsitispas at the Halle Open.
The ever-combustible Aussie shrugged off a number of flash-points in the match to seal arguably his biggest win of the year against the World No.6.
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Kyrgios destroyed his racquet, got involved in another officiating bust-up and was on the verge of giving up, before prevailing 5-7 6-2 6-4 in the traditional pre-Wimbledon tournament in Germany.
In amongst the now-too-familiar moments of mayhem, however, the 27-year-old produced some typically exquisite tennis.
One such moment came midway through the second set when Kyrgios left his Greek opponent stunned, with an unorthodox and unstoppable forehand winner.
Tsitsipas let a booming crosscourt forehand rip that caught the baseline, only to see it come back with interest after an extraordinary flick of the wrist from Kyrgios.
The winner left Tsitsipas, commentators and fans completely gobsmacked.
— Kane Nurton (@KaneNurton) June 15, 2022
Behind the back half volley from Kyrgios
Tsitsipas understandably misses the forehand pass even with time
— Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 (@christophclarey) June 15, 2022
— Shivangi (@Shivang52287409) June 15, 2022
Every time you watch Kyrgios play you see a shot you haven’t seen before. Different.
— Jonathan Stevens (@even5tevens) June 15, 2022
Kyrgios fought brilliantly after being made to come from a set down to knock out the second seed, despite once again struggling to keep his emotions in check on the court.
After losing an opening set which world No.6 Tsitsipas controlled, Kyrgios ended up obliterating his racquet, repeatedly hammering it against the side of his courtside bench.
He received a code violation and, when leading 2-0 in the second set, got involved in another heated argument after being penalised for a time violation when receiving serve.
After being judged by the chair umpire Timo Janzen to have kept the server Tsitsipas waiting, Kyrgios protested, sat down and demanded the supervisor be called before he eventually continued.
He told the umpire that the penalty was ridiculous as he was one of the fastest players in the world.
"This happens every match, I've waited so many times for Rafa (Nadal)," he could be heard saying.
Nadal is notoriously slow between points and was called out by John McEnroe during his quarter-final clash with Novak Djokovic at the French Open.
Nick Kyrgios battles through for big win
Kyrgios admitted afterwards that he'd been close to giving up on the match, but his team helped him through to a quarter-final date with sixth-seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.
Asked how he'd managed to win in a post-match interview, Kyrgios said: "My team. My girlfriend, my physio, my best friend, my manager, they just kept me in it, got me over the line.
"At times, I felt like giving up, frustrated, and Stef was rolling but, I don't know, they somehow dug me out of a hole."
In previous matches this year, similar wars have seen the Australian go on to lose his cool, his focus and then the match.
But on this occasion, the 27-year-old's brilliance came to the forefront instead, as he regained his focus to earn his 24th victory over a top-10 player - a remarkable statistic for a man still to make the top-10 himself.
Only last week, Kyrgios had been left raging, going out in a blaze of anger after being subject to racial abuse during a match in Stuttgart.
He got irritated early on at his latest German venue too when a mobile phone in the crowd went off as early as the third game and he demanded Janzen keep a check on disturbances.
This time, though, all ended with sweetness and light as Kyrgios ended up handing the racquet he'd mangled to a fan at courtside.
He next plays Carreno Busta, who earned an excellent win over rising American Sebastian Korda 6-4 0-6 6-3.
Defending champion Ugo Humbert got knocked out by Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 while world No.1 and top seed Daniil Medvedev advanced by beating David Goffin 6-3 6-2.
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