‘I’m f***ing done’: Kyrgios loses it
NICK Kyrgios has moved through to the second round of the US Open after surviving a four-set rollercaoster where he appeared on the brink of capitulating.
Kyrgios appeared to lose interest as he surrendered the second set to Moldova's Radu Albot, before fighting back in a thrilling 7-5 2-6 6-4 6-2 win that left commentators scratching their heads yet again.
Kyrgios shrugged off a cramping calf complaint and his own mental state to take the third set 6-4 just minutes after he was heard telling his players' box that he was "f***ing cooked".
He then peeled off the first four games of the fourth set and went on to close it out 6-2 after more than two hours and 19 minutes on court.
With the searing New York heat approaching 35C, the extreme heat policy was put into effect even for the night session matches, but it appeared to do little to save Kyrgios from himself.
In between his impressive fightback, the 23-year-old was heard talking to the chair umpire regularly at the change of ends and bristled at his own supporter's box inside the US Open's new stadium court.
However, it was his ongoing chats with courtside ESPN tennis commentator Brad Gilbert that stole the headlines.
Kyrgios grinned after regularly chirping away with Gilbert - and even had a laugh in between his first and second serves when serving with the first set on the line.
He said after the game that his conversations with familiar faces in the crowd actually helped him stay focused.
"I was speaking to you a lot, I was speaking to him a lot, it keeps me focused," Kyrgios told Gilbert after the match.
The Aussie appeared to red-line his game in a bid to shorten points, serving booming second serve aces and committing seven double faults.
"That is one of the weirdest sets you'll ever see," Aussie tennis commentator Darren Cahill told ESPN.
Kyrgios' risky play worked for him the first set, but it failed him in the second set as he appeared to be wilting in the extreme heat.
He dropped serve twice, including the final game of the set, as Albot tied the match at a set all.
He appeared to lose interest late in the second set and plodded around the court slowly in between points.
Kyrgios appeared to be in extreme discomfort as he slumped in his chair with a vacant expression on his face after Albot went off the court briefly at the end of the second set.
The ESPN broadcast cameras showed Kyrgios sitting down at the end of the second set appearing in an exasperated exchange with his players' box.
He was seen mouthing the words: "I'm f***ed".
He was also spotted singing along to a music track played around the stadium at the end of the second set, casually singing Lenny Kravitz's Fly Away, including the line: "I want to get away".
ESPN's commentators appeared genuinely concerned for Kyrgios' mental state, speculating that another tanking episode may not be far away.
Kyrgios in fact appeared calm when play resumed and he went on to claim the third set 6-4 after breaking in the seventh game of the set.
He was then spotted limping on his way back to his chair ahead 4-3.
The TV microphones picked up Kyrgios saying, "It's quite sad really. It's incredibly sad" as he told his supporters on the other side of the court that he was dealing with cramping in his left calf muscle.
He fought his way back and is now one match away from a dream third round match with champion Roger Federer.
Kyrgios will play Frenchman Pierre-Hughes Herbert in the second round.