Nick Kyrgios turned his Wimbledon campaign on its head with a “ridiculous” performance that has blown the world away.
The Nick Kyrgios show has returned to Wimbledon — and you won’t want to look away because he might not be around much longer.
The wild Australian completely annihilated No. 24 seed Filip Krajinovic in the second round on Thursday night – turning his tournament on its head – before flagging the end of his tennis career.
The 27-year-old was coming off a first round match that shocked the world and made him the most talked about player at the tournament — for all the wrong reasons.
Suddenly, the world is back talking about his tennis.
Kyrgios has set up a dream third round showdown with No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas that’s been dubbed a de facto quarterfinal given the lack of big names in their section of the draw.
He did it in style and with sheer fire power, wrapping up the 6-2 6-3 6-1 victory in just 85 minutes.
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The stats from the match show what a bloodbath it was — and how ordinary Kyrgios made such a highly-ranked player look.
He finished with 49 winners and just 10 unforced errors. He also had 24 aces and lost just three of his 40 points on first serve. Freakish and with barely a sign of his usual antics.
“I felt like it was a bit of a statement,” he told the Tennis Channel post-match.
“I’m just really sick of the media right now. They’re just nitpicking all of my matches. So today was about just being locked in. I joked with them just then ‘I love that you’ve got nothing to write about today’.”
In his press conference, Kyrgios added: “I just feel like people just don’t give me the respect sometimes because of other things that I do.
“There was just nothing the media possibly could tell me I did wrong today.
“I just know that you can’t possibly ask me anything and stir anything up. And I love it because then you can’t write anything.
“What are you going to say? Nothing today. Dumbfounded, all of you.”
After a testy exchange with a reporter over his spitting incident in round one, Kyrgios shrugged off questions over any potential sanction.
“I couldn’t care less if there is an investigation. I know what I bring to the sport,” he said.
“I just feel like I’m comfortable in my own skin. Some people love to just tear me down. It’s just not possible anymore.”
Kyrgios got off to a flyer against Krajinovic, with some dazzling, composed tennis and wrapped up the first set in just 26 minutes.
The Canberran looked unbeatable and went on to win his first 21 points on serve.
The first point he lost on serve for the match was in the third service game of the second set.
Kyrgios’s display left Todd Woodbridge dreaming of big things.
The Aussie doubles legend said Kyrgios can make it to the semi-finals stage and beyond.
“This is the year that opportunity awaits,” he said on Channel 9.
“He sits in the bottom half of the draw with Rafael Nadal and he’s beaten him here before.”
British sport analyst Rory Flanagan described Kyrgios as a “cheat code” in a post on Twitter.
Tennis journalist Jose Morgado wrote: “This is just ridiculous from Kyrgios. My god”.
With the men’s draw opening up for him, at least one Australian corporate bookmaker moved Kyrgios onto the fifth line of betting to win the entire tournament.
He is seen as a potential threat after semi-final runs in recent grass-court events in Stuttgart and Halle.
Kyrgios told the Tennis Channel he believed he’s playing some of the best tennis of his career. And after declaring post-match he only sees himself playing for another two or three years because he wants to start a family, Kyrgios knows this could be his best chance of reaching the final weekend of a slam.
His performance on Thursday night reminded everyone how serious a threat he is.
“I just wanted to remind everyone that I’m pretty good,” he said with a straight face during his on-court interview.
“I couldn’t have played better.”
He later added: “I know what I bring to the sport. I’m one of the most important people in the sport.
“Do you want to speak about that? Nothing to investigate there because it’s just factual.
“I’m extremely confident in myself. All the challenges I’ve overcome in my life.
“I’m proud to be up here and doing it my own way.
“Being able to produce tennis like that at Wimbledon, it’s a dream come true for any tennis player.”
Perhaps Kyrgios’ biggest statement came with confirmation he had pulled out of his doubles campaign with compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis. The pair were scheduled to play their first round match on Friday morning (AEST).
But Kyrgios revealed his doubles campaign would be compromised by his focus on his singles draw.
“Thanasi understands … he’s in the mixed doubles as well, so he can have some fun there,” he said.
Kyrgios famously stunned Rafael Nadal on his way to the quarter-finals at the All England Club in 2014, but has never got past the fourth round since.
Despite his incredible form, there was earlier a moment of high drama when a chair umpire blunder threatened to trigger another textbook Kyrgios tantrum in the first set.
The moment happened when the chair umpire allowed Krajinovic to challenge a linesman’s call after he had already gone through his groundstroke.
Kyrgios had to give the umpire a lesson on the rules.
“You can’t challenge that,” he said.
“What are you talking about? It doesn’t matter if it was out, you’d called game already. It doesn’t matter. You can’t do that.”
Woodbridge said on TV commentary it was a “moment of apprehension”.
“No, no, no — the umpire has made an error there,” he said.
Kyrgios is still facing a punishment — likely a fine — from the tournament over the incident where he spit in the direction of spectators he said were being disrespectful during his first round win.
On his way to a five-set victory over Paul Jubb on Wednesday morning, Kyrgios branded one line judge a “snitch” with “no fans” and repeatedly argued with the chair umpire.
The Canberran continued to breathe fire in his post-match press conference — where he was eating pasta in between answers — refusing to apologise for his behaviour, doubling down on his accusations against misbehaving fans and denying he had any sympathy for officials.
He was widely slammed in the tennis world and global media personality Piers Morgan on Thursday called him a “pig”.