Nick Kyrgios and Daniil Medvedev left tennis fans gobsmacked on Sunday after one of the greatest first sets in US Open history.
The Aussie entertainer sealed his spot in the final eight of the US Open after a scintillating 7-6 (13-11) 3-6 6-3 6-2 victory over the World No.1 in the round of 16.
Playing in front of a packed Arthur Ashe stadium centre court in New York, the defending champion and the volatile Aussie put on an absolute exhibition that sent the tennis world into a frenzy on social media.
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Very little separated the players in the first stanza, with Kyrgios threatening to unravel after firing up at the chair umpire for starting the service shot clock early late in the set.
The Aussie regrouped as Medvedev held serve in the eleventh game of the opener to send the first set into a tiebreak.
The match really exploded to life in the tiebreak as Kyrgios and Medvedev battled to land the first decisive blow in the contest.
Kyrgios looked poised to grab the opening stanza after grabbing a mini break to jump out to a 5-3 lead in the breaker.
However, a pair of errors from the World No.25 handed the initiative back to Medvedev as the Russian won three straight points to go set point up.
A pair of clutch winners from Kyrgios kept him in the first set, before the Aussie set up a big chance of his own off the back of a trademark ace.
The tiebreak continued to sea-saw with Kyrgios smashing his racquet into the ground after sending a shot into the net.
Kyrgios played a couple of brave drop shots to once again get his nose in front, before coming to the net and forcing Medvedev into an error that saw the Aussie clinch a heart-stopping first set.
— Chris Pettit (@cpettit815) September 5, 2022
Thank God for Kyrgios saving my weekend. My man knows how to put on a show
— Martin Artest-Jones (@ArtestJones) September 5, 2022
Kyrgios somehow wins that insane tie-break 🤯
— CanuckSneakers (@CanuckSneakers) September 5, 2022
— Anthony (@ajr219psu) September 5, 2022
Kyrgios. Medvedev. ESPN. War.
— Ryan Sierocki (@Sakahachi_17) September 5, 2022
This Medvedev-Kyrgios tiebreak is beyond words 😳
— Ameé Ruszkai (@ameeruszkai) September 5, 2022
The Aussie appeared to be mentally drained after such an epic opening stanza as Medvedev capitalised to race out to a 5-1 lead.
Kyrgios dug deep to pull it back to 5-3 but the match was soon on level terms at one set apiece as Medvedev held serve to take the second stanza 6-3.
Kyrgios hit back to take the third set 6-3, before blowing the defending champion away in the fourth - dropping just two games as he powered into the quarter-finals.
Daniil Medvedev 'not friends' with Nick Kyrgios
Medvedev provided added spice to the pre-match build-up after declaring that he and Kyrgios "aren't friends".
The reigning US Open champion and current World No.1 offered the Aussie his biggest test at the US Open after what has been the finest year in his career.
Kyrgios would have been eager to prove that his Wimbledon runner-up finish in July was anything but a flash in the pan against the Russian in New York.
Speaking before the match, Medvedev admitted he was 'surprised' by Kyrgios' resurgence and declared that the pair aren't exactly friends.
“We are both quite electric. You never know what’s going to happen,” the Russian said.
“I don’t think we are friends. When I say ‘friends’, we haven’t been to the bar together.
“I feel like we respect each other a lot. On the court also we never really had any fight or anything, which can change any moment.
“We are both quite electric. You never know what’s going to happen in the future.
“Nick is a little bit different from other tennis players sometimes on the court. That’s his choice. That’s his life. I’m not the one to judge.”
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