How Nick Kyrgios Gained A Mental Edge Over Daniil Medvedev

Or was it over himself?

Image Credit: Getty Images

Nick Kyrgios appears to have won a mental battle with himself while playing against ATP world number one tennis player Daniil Medvedev, with a super cheeky move that boosted his mood, despite costing him a crucial point, at a turning point in their round four match-up.


Nick Kygrios, Australia’s most entertaining tennis player, who went into his round four US Open match up with Daniil Medvedev ranked at world number 25 (and who was the 23rd seed in the competition), and who is 27 years old, has cemented his infamous reputation even further today, during his clash with the aloof but skilful Russian 26-year-old.

Even as Kyrgios won the first set (6-7) against Daniil Medvedev he was complaining, accusing the umpire of starting the shot clock too early, and claiming she was the only umpire who he had ever had this problem with (Kyrgios is known for his fast-paced service games). Kyrgios said: “Not one issue in three months, not one. I play the fastest on tour, I’m getting back to the baseline with four seconds. What are you doing?”

Things appeared to get even worse when, after losing the second set and sitting at 30-30 in Medvedev’s second service game of the third set, Medvedev sent a shot high up into the air, which was clearly going out, until Kyrgios ran onto Medvedev’s side of the court and smashed it. Kyrgios continued running after the shot, raised a finger in the air, and grinned at Medvedev, with the Medvedev gesticulating with his racquet at the umpire.

This was deemed an illegal shot as the ball was struck on his opponent’s side of the court (even though it went in). The decision cost Kyrgios a big point. Commentator Todd Woodbridge said: “What an error in judgement,” and: “That should have been break point.”

“Oh dear. What will be the repercussions of that? I’ve never seen anything like that in all my time in tennis. That is crazy.”

Todd Woodbridge

Kyrgios told his team: “I honestly thought it was legal.” Rather than the moment leading to self implosion, however, Kyrgios seemed to take a mental win from it. He soon started playing better. This, we’d argue, is because he loses his sh*t when he plays badly and loses points because his opponent plays better than him. In this case though, despite losing the point, Kyrgios took mental strength from it because he was satisfied in knowing he had played well in that rally.

Kyrgios went on to get the first break of the set after that, with commentator Jelena Dokic saying: “That mistake he made, that usually would have rattled him but now he is playing better.” Kyrgios then went on to win the whole match, thanking his partner Costeen Hatzi and complimenting Medvedev when interviewed at the end of the clash.

Kyrgios also laughed off the foul shot and called himself an idiot in the interview.

“It was an amazing match – obviously Daniil is defending champion, a lot of pressure on his shoulders – but I played really well, I’ve been playing amazing the last couple of months,” Kyrgios said.

“What a place to do it, packed house in New York. I’m extremely blessed. I’m still trying to figure it out, honestly. I’m just trying to work hard every day, make every practice session count.”

“It’s all my team. I’m just really happy and hopefully I can keep it going.”

Nick Kyrgios

Kyrgios will now face Karen Khachanov, who got to the quarter-finals of the US Open for the first time on Sunday after knocking out Spanish 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta in an epic five-set match.

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