Nick Kyrgios’ roller-coaster ride at this year’s Australian Open 2021 came to a close in a typically dramatic fashion as the home hero relinquished a two-set lead on the way to defeat against Austria’s Dominic Thiem in the third round.
Kyrgios has electrified the crowds in Melbourne and with a five-day ban on fans looming as the city enters a new coronavirus-enforced lockdown on Friday, the Aussie firebrand almost ensured supporters had the perfect send-off before falling agonizingly short against third seed Thiem.
A pumped-up Kyrgios, 25, was in inspired form as he took the first two sets amid a febrile, fiercely partisan atmosphere at his favorite John Cain Arena.
Nick Kyrgios fans left disappointed
The Aussie star scrapped desperately to remain in the match, observers pointed to one moment in particular which they claimed might have shifted the momentum inexorably in Thiem’s favor.
In the ninth game of the fourth set, and having already fended off two breakpoints, Kyrgios attempted a ‘tweener’ while on game point, missing it and sending the scoreline back to deuce.
However, in a post match interview, The Australian star said, “I’m super-proud of myself to produce that level and go toe-to-toe with one of the best players in the world… I left it all out there. He’s a hell of a player, so disciplined, so composed, his level doesn’t drop. There’s a couple of points in it, but I’m not disappointed at all.”
Dominic Thiem earned the respect of Kyrgios and will face Grigor Dimitrov in the next round after the Bulgarian 18th seed was handed a walkover two sets into his match with Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta. The matches in Melbourne will move on without fans for five days, and sadly for the adoring home crowd, without Kyrgios for the remainder of the tournament.