Nick Kyrgios has continued his blazing run with a rollicking three-set victory over world No 1 Daniil Medvedev in Montreal. Australia’s Wimbledon runner-up wore down Medvedev 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-2 in a sapping second-round encounter played in searing heat and humidity.
After losing the opening set in a tiebreaker, Kyrgios had to dig deep and turned the match around with one incredible backhand pass to break Medvedev in the sixth game of the deciding set. He broke the dispirited Russian for a second straight service game before closing out the match to love after exactly two hours.
The stirring victory was Kyrgios’s third from four meetings with Medvedev, 14th win from past 15 matches and second ever over a world No 1 – eight years after conquering Rafael Nadal on his Wimbledon debut as a teenager.
“I’ve had some success against him in the past and he’s beaten me before so I feel like we know each others’ games well,” Kyrgios said. “I’m not the type of player who goes into these matches looking at rankings or anything like that.
“It’s just who I’m playing and what kind of ball they’re giving me and today I had a very clean objective of how I was going to play – a lot of serve and volley, a lot of aggressive play from the back – and I executed better than he did on the day. That’s all it came down to. He won the first set and I feel like I had opportunities there as well so hopefully I can keep this rolling.”
Kyrgios, who faces Australian No 1 Alex de Minaur next for a quarter-final spot, is not getting carried away despite firming as one of the US Open favourites following his rousing victory over last year’s Flushing Meadows champion.
“Look, a grand slam is much, much different to any other tournament,” he said. “If I was in this position of a grand slam, you’ve still got to win another set and that’s not easy at all. He’s a machine. He’s the best player in the world for a reason and at a grand slam he’s a totally different beast.”
Nevertheless, Kyrgios continues to make a mockery of the rankings and the 27-year-old’s latest triumph all but secured the Canberran an all-important seeding for the New York major starting on 29 August.
“Look, I feel confident in my body and my mentality going in to the US Open but at the same time there’s so much time between then and now,” Kyrgios said. “I’ve got to focus on this event and then Cincinnati. There’s so many things I’ve got to look forward to. I’m not even going to think about the US Open right now. I need to take care of my body.”
De Minaur set up a first-time meeting with Kyrgios with a 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 second-round win over Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, the 15th seed.