‘Oh my god’: Nick Kyrgios scoffs at question
Nick Kyrgios is irresistible when he's in this sort of mood.
One of the most divisive figures in Australian sport appeared to have the entire Melbourne Arena crowd on his side as he moved through to the second round of the Australian open with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-1) win over Italian Lorenzo Sonego on Tuesday night.
But the straight-sets win wasn't without its drama for the No. 23 seed.
KYRGIOS SCOFFS AT BANANA QUESTION
Kyrgios celebrated securing his first round win by cleaning up the area surrounding his chair on Melbourne Arena.
Kyrgios spent so long cleaning up his equipment and the rubbish that would have been left behind that it forced Channel 9 to delay its post match, on-court interview with tennis legend John McEnroe.
The Aussie appeared to get a little too carried away at one point as he tossed his official gear and towels into the screaming section of crowd directly behind the umpire's chair.
Having thrown away everything he could, Kyrgios even tossed a banana peel to a lucky fan.
The fan appeared even more excited than those spectators sitting around him that scored free towels.
Kyrgios, however, wasn't in a mood to explain his kind gestures in his post match press conference and scoffed when asked by a reporter to explain the decision.
"You've got to do better than that, bro," Kyrgios said. "Is that a serious question? Oh my god. Next question."
Channel 9's Jim Courier earlier described Kyrgios' charitable giving as a "yard sale".
"He's doing some housekeeping. He's cleaning up the bench before he gets over to have a chat to John McEnroe," Courier said.
"It's a new Nick. Giving away a few souvenirs. He's making his Laver Cup captain wait. He's done that before. Looks like a yard sale out there."
Kyrgios also scoffed at questions about the moment in the match when the lights inside Melbourne Arena went out for more than a minute.
He said the brief interruption didn't worry him.
When asked if it impacted his concentration, Kyrgios replied: "I won the match in straight sets. I wouldn't say it was too much of a distraction.
"The lights just dimmed. What sort of response do you want from me right now."
KYRGIOS AT HOME BUT STLL ON EDGE
While not always playing lights out tennis, there were the typical Kyrgios flourishes in the victory.
In the third game of the third set he hit a tweener lob which scored him the point, trying two tweeners on the next one only to draw a blank.
The 23rd seed got a solid workout from world No. 53 Sonego but was never broken and eased to victory in two hours and 13 minutes.
Despite appearing at ease during the match, Kyrgios admitted being edgy as he took to the court, particularly given the focus on the Australian bushfires and his involvement in raising funds, saying he was playing "for a lot of people".
"Just with everything going on, walking out there, I was a lot more nervous than I have been in previous matches," he said.
"Australian Open, I usually feel pretty comfortable.
"The crowd was unbelievable. I got comfortable quite early in the match. I played an unbelievable first set, which helped. I thought the pressure kind of eased off after I won that first set (but) he didn't go away."
The crowd offered generous support and applause for Kyrgios and the good vibe continued after the match when he said he'd love to go to the Tokyo Olympics and represent Australia in July.
It comes after Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates said he'd like to have him there - four years after a bitter AOC fall out with Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic, resulting in the pair not going to the Rio Games.
"I wanted to play just as much the last time the Olympics were around," Kyrgios said.
"I feel like if I'm there, I've got a genuine shot at winning a medal, one. I'd love to be there with other the athletes representing Australia, too."
Kyrgios will now play Gilles Simon in the second round after the Frenchman beat Pablo Cuevas 6-1 6-3 6-3.
A spicy fourth round encounter looming with world No. 1 Rafael Nadal should both players register two more wins.
SONEGO LEAVES MCENROE SPEECHLESS WITH REVERSE CHALLENGE
Lorenzo Sonego delivered a tactical masterstroke in the first set against Nick Kyrgios when he challenged his own serve - which was called in by the linesman.
Sonego's first serve was gobbled up by an aggressive Kyrgios, who leaned forward with an attacking forehand return that raced across the other side of the nest for a clean winner.
Sonego, however, challenged his first serve - and the HawkEye tracking technology showed that it had sailed long.
Kyrgios remained calm through the bizarre moment and was rewarded just seconds later when Sonego went on to butcher the value of his successful reverse challenge by serving a double fault.
The whole incident was hard for tennis legend John McEnroe to explain in commentary for Channel 9.
"Was that Sonego who challenged that serve?" he said, perplexed.
"The ball went by me, so I'm going to challenge my own serve? Unless Kyrgios challenged. I'm trying to find out what happened there.
"I guess it doesn't matter. Double fault."