For the first time in a while, Nick Kyrgios put on a masterclass at the Washington Open, blasting his way past 28-year-old Slovakian Norbert Gombos in straight sets.
Lacking his usual court-side distractions on Saturday (AEST), Kyrgios, 24, booked his place in the semi-finals of the Open.
With not a smashed racket in sight, the much-maligned Australian was at his best, covering every inch of the court to pull off some shots for his career highlights reel before overcoming his opponent 6-3 6-3.
Despite a brief moment where he “accidentally” threw a water bottle towards the umpire’s chair for no apparent reason, and using his trademark underarm serve, it was an otherwise faultless match.
In a rare display of public affection, Kyrgios, ranked 52 in the world, ran from the net to hug a fan in the crowd after winning match point at the William HG FitzGerald Tennis Centre.
Fans praised his performance on Twitter. One said: “If Nick Kyrgios played more points like that one v Gombos he would win a lot of people over”.
“Nick Kyrgios has been giving 100% all tournament and playing some scary good tennis. Looks focused, calm and concentrated on maybe even going all the way like in Acapulco,” another wrote, a refreshing change to the usual Kyrgios criticisms on social media post match.
And the compliments kept coming: “Nick kyrgios is such a mindblowing tennis player to watch”.
“It’s like he thinks to himself: “right, I’m going to put the ball there *points to edge of the court* and my opponent will THINK i’m gonna put it there points to opposite end of court.”
The final four of the ATP tournament will see Kyrgios up against recent doubles partner Stefanos Tsitsipas, after the No.1 seed defeated Benoit Paire 7-5 6-0.
The US Open official Twitter account posted throughout the match, speculating Kyrgios is ripe for success at the next grand slam.
“On to the next one,” it read.
Nobody will ever know how @NickKyrgios won this point!
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) August 3, 2019
Russian Daniil Medvedev will take on German Peter Gojowczyk in the other semi-final, after they overcame Marin Cilic and Kyle Edmund in their respective quarter-finals.