Nick Kyrgios might have had the last laugh against Stefanos Tsitsipas in their matchup at the Halle Open, but the Greek star showed up his Aussie rival in hilarious fashion.
It was ultimately an impressive 5-7 6-2 6-4 win for Kyrgios at the Wimbledon warm-up event in Germany, but in typical fashion it was not without controversy.
Well known for his outbursts at chair umpires over otherwise innocuous warnings, Kyrgios was outraged when he was pinged for a time violation on Tsitsipas' serve.
Referencing his ongoing frustration over Rafael Nadal's lengthy routine in between serves, Kyrgios complained and eventually demanded to speak to the supervisor on court.
As Kyrgios sat and held a heated conversation with the tournament supervisor, a nonplussed Tsitsipas looked to keep his head in the game.
The sight of him simply using the time to practice his serve while Kyrgios argued with the supervisor in the background proved amusing for tennis fans on social media.
The laid-back Tsitsipas calmy keeping warmed up while Kyrgios blew up was a sight to behold.
Kyrgios told the umpire that the penalty was ridiculous as he was one of the fastest players in the world - however the decision stood.
*time violation warning mr Kyrgios*
the supervisor arrives, Tsitsipas keeps serving, everything is so perfect pic.twitter.com/yJT79W3U9M
— Garbee|| Serena is coming ❤️ (@muguruthlessN1) June 15, 2022
Kyrgios knocks out Tsitsipas 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 in typically atypical fashion. Strokes of genius intermingled with self-immolation. But he's quite the grasscourter and into the QF in Halle#getty pic.twitter.com/JS786yP05z
— Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 (@christophclarey) June 15, 2022
Enjoyed Stefanos Tsitsipas immediately picking up balls and practicing his serve without breaking stride when Kyrgios sat down to argue with the supervisor after a time violation.
— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) June 15, 2022
Kyrgios gets a time violation warning on Tsitsipas' serve.
"I can't go to my towel? I waited so many times for Rafa", he tells the chair umpire before calling the supervisor.
— Gaspar Ribeiro Lança (@gasparlanca) June 15, 2022
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.
Asked how he'd managed to win in a post-match courtside 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."
Nick Kyrgios rages at umpire in Halle win over Tsitsipas
The 26-year-old was still angry about the multiple violations he earned when speaking to press after the match.
Kyrgios suggested the chair umpire had penalised him for the sake of some attention.
"Umpires, I don't think they understand... Everyone here in Halle was looking forward to seeing me and Stef play, they (umpires) just want to be relevant," Kyrgios said.
"The match was going fine, the crowd was enjoying it - it was completely unnecessary."
Asked if he'd found it hard to stay focused, Kyrgios shrugged: "Not really. As you can see from the scoreboard, I focused pretty well. Lost the first set, and regained my focus and got it done."
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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