Tennis-Calm Medvedev halts Kyrgios show to book third-round spot

  • Tennis
  • Thursday, 20 Jan 2022

Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 20, 2022 Russia's Daniil Medvedev in action during his second round match against Australia's Nick Kyrgios REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

MELBOURNE (Reuters) -World number two Daniil Medvedev kept his calm amid a raucous crowd to put an end to the Nick Kyrgios show in the second round of this year's Australian Open on Thursday, dumping out the mercurial local hope with a clinical 7-6(1) 6-4 4-6 6-2 win.

The atmosphere at the floodlit Rod Laver Arena was more like a Davis Cup match than a Grand Slam with the sellout 50% capacity -- due to COVID-19 health protocols -- cheering every Kyrgios point on Melbourne Park's main showcourt.

"I came to win this match and I am happy I managed to do it," a stone-faced Medvedev said in his on-court interview, repeatedly asking the crowd to quieten down.

"The only choice is to keep calm when you get booed between first and second serve."

Kyrgios egged on the crowd to get behind him from the onset, with his repeated chest thumping, but also rebuked them for interrupting him during his service motion.

The Australian was warned for an audible obscenity as he repeatedly engaged with the chair umpire, accusing him of starting the shot clock early between points, while also getting a time violation for not being ready to receive serve.

Ahead of the match Kyrgios said that he believed Medvedev was currently the best player in the world despite having beaten him both times in their previous meetings.

The Russian showed why -- staying calm and composed in the face of partisan support and his opponent's usual antics.

Frustrated by Medvedev's robotic precision, the former world number 13, who has slipped to 115th in the rankings, kept shaking his head in disbelief and told the crowd: "I am doing everything I can."

"I can't serve any bigger," he kept muttering during a changeover, signalling with his hand that Medvedev was managing to return his rocket serves with ease.

Kyrgios did manage to stage a fightback in the third set and a no-look 'tweener' while chasing back from a Medvedev lob sent the crowd wild as the showman won the point, poking out his tongue and performing a few dance moves in celebration.

But Medvedev, who fired 68 winners in the match, soon regained control.

A double break in the fourth set made it look easy in the end for last year's Australian Open finalist and he will next meet 57th-ranked Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands for a place in the fourth round.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Pritha Sarkar and Toby Davis)

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