Nick Kyrgios continued to live up to his human headline reputation on Day 3 at the Australian Open.
The 21-year-old Aussie maverick won the first two sets against Italian Andreas Seppi before imploding to ultimately lose 1-6 6-7 6-4 6-2 10-8.
Kyrgios came to Melbourne with a nagging knee injury which he played through at the Hopman Cup. And in set three, when he appeared to aggravate the injury, he shouted, “I didn’t sign up for this bullshit” to his player’s box.
— ABC Grandstand (@abcgrandstand) January 18, 2017
Unsurprisingly, the outburst earned a code violation from umpire Carlos Ramos.
Later in the set, Kyrgios smashed his racket, eliciting a second code violation and therefore a point penalty. The fourth set unravelled even faster with Kyrgios looking uninterested and borderline tanking.
Kyrgios’ interest levels did increase in the decider, but still, playing a casual tweener mid-rally when Seppi was serving for the match at 6-5 was a head-scratcher.
Nick Kyrgios with the most casual between-the-legs shot in Tennis history. https://t.co/FUl0V0UBkp
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 18, 2017
In what was a rollercoaster final set, 89th-ranked Seppi ignored the drama at the other end and although he couldn’t serve it out on that occasion, he closed the deal at 10-8.
“I was just focusing on my game and it worked out very good for me,” Seppi said.
As for the Hisense Arena Kyrgios has such an affinity with, he arrived to applause but left with boos.
John Isner also choked on a two set lead; even holding two match points late in the fourth set and slamming his hat down in frustration. The American 19th seed eventually lost in five to Mischa Zverev who was eye catching with his serve-and-volley game style.
“It was certainly a match which I felt I should have won,” Isner said.
“I had countless chances but I didn’t capitalise and that sort of wore on me.”
An even higher seed, Marin Cilic, was knocked out in four sets by Briton Dan Evans. The former US Open champ took the opening set but as day turned to night and the air temperature dipped significantly, Evans switched the momentum.
Evans gained confidence and forced Cilic into a string of errors, eventually winning 3-6 7-5 6-3 6-3. It was just his second win over a top-10 opponent his career – the other, just last week over Dominic Thiem in Sydney.
😍 Dan the Man!
Dan Evans beats Marin Čilić to reach the #AusOpen 3rd round for the first time in his career.
👊 Breakthrough. pic.twitter.com/aDQnBL4ahU
— bet365 (@bet365) January 18, 2017
Evans’ Davis Cup teammate and world no.1 Andy Murray eased into the last 32 with no worries about his performance, but there was a minor scare with his body. Early in set three, Murray rolled his right ankle, but a tournament doctor checked it. Murray returned moving relatively freely.
Roger Federer navigated his way past his little known American opponent Noah Rubin, but will play a much more seasoned foe next round in Tomas Berdych, who also got past an American, Ryan Harrison, in three sets.
Angelique Kerber marked her 29th birthday with another three set win, 6-2 6-7 6-2 over fellow German Carina Witthoeft. The world No.1 struggled with her serve in the second set tiebreak but recovered in the third set and will play Kristyna Pliskova next.
Other women’s seeds, Svetlana Kuznetsova (8), Elina Svitolina (11), Venus Williams (13) and Garbine Muguruza (7), all advanced in straight sets.