Nick Kyrgios has won his amazing resumed match with Frenchman Ugo Humbert at Wimbledon, rising after a bad fall to knock out the 21st seed 9-7 in the final set.
Nick Kyrgios says that not even a “brutal” fall which left him squirming in agony was going to stop him continuing his extraordinary adventures in Wimbledon wonderland.
After overcoming a nasty fall on the Court No.1 turf and rising like a heavyweight champ to win his epic battle with Frenchman Ugo Humbert on Wednesday, the irrepressible Kyrgios boomed: “With one leg, I was going to finish that match.”
After the most brilliant contest of Wimbledon so far, the would-be holidaymaker now looks set for a very long vacation as he prevailed 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 9-7 after three hours and 26 minutes of dazzling fare that only this showman could conjure up.
“Not bad for a part-time player,” he couldn’t resist joking with the cheering crowd.
The 26-year-old reckoned he’d been in agony overnight on Tuesday after the pair’s match had been called off just before the 11pm cut-off when locked at 3-3 in the fifth because of the strain of playing his first match for nearly six months.
And after he’d slipped and taken a bad fall when the scores reached 6-6 on resumption, it looked momentarily as he writhed around the court that he might have to pull out, just as Serena Williams and Adrian Mannarino had done after tumbles the day earlier.
“I was always going to get up and play. I made it that far. I haven’t been playing many tournaments. I’m here,” he said.
“I’m like, ‘Ah, going down’ – it was pretty brutal. It hurt. My hip hurt.
“I just got back up and showed some resilience. Comes with age.”
And real heart. Twice he found himself a couple of points away from defeat, yet just as in the pair’s last magnificent five-set tussle in Melbourne at the Australian Open, Kyrgios just would not be denied, finally breaking Humbert to go into an 8-7 lead.
He then still had to repel two break points from the brilliant young French 21st seed before banging an unreturnable serve down the T for one of the most dramatic wins of even his astounding career.
“My hip’s fine,” he reported later. “Very lucky. Obviously it’s devastating to see some big names go out due to an injury like slipping on the court.
“Mannarino was putting on a great match against Federer. Obviously seeing Serena, the legend, go down, it’s not easy. I’m very lucky it wasn’t nothing too severe.
Before going back out on court for the resumption, Kyrgios could be heard revealing how much he fancied a beer at the Dog and Fox, the Wimbledon Village pub he’d famously frequented before his contest with Rafael Nadal two years ago.
Alas, the bubble was going to put a stop to any such fun – but everyone at Wimbledon was just thrilled he was the one providing them with pleasure.
How, they wondered, could a man who hasn’t played for so long be so brilliant just four days after crossing the world?
“A lot of people were telling me there’s no chance, there’s no point in you going with that short preparation, no chance you can come off the couch and compete at this level.
“I’m like, ‘Dude, I know my game, I know how to play on grass.’ I’ve been playing this sport since I was seven years old.
“I don’t really care what anyone says. I’m my own person. I prepare the way I prepare and it worked. I’m not scared of anyone in the draw.”
Italy’s Gianluca Mager, the world No.77 is the next guest on the Kyrgios show.
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