Australian Open 2018: Nick Kyrgios sets up match with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Nick Kyrgios
Kyrgios had to cope with several off-court distractions during an entertaining match
2018 Australian Open
Dates: 15-28 January Venue: Melbourne Park
Coverage: Watch highlights on BBC Two, the BBC Sport website and app. Live commentary on the best matches on BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra and online.

Nick Kyrgios gave the home fans plenty to enjoy as he beat Viktor Troicki to reach the Australian Open third round.

The Australian 17th seed won an incident-packed match 7-5 6-4 7-6 (7-2) on Hisense Arena to set up a meeting with France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The 15th seed fought back from 5-2 down in the final set to beat Canada's Denis Shapovalov 3-6 6-3 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 7-5.

"He's got the fire in the arms. I think it's going to be a good match," Tsonga said of facing Kyrgios.

"Everybody knows what he will try to do, what I will try to do."

Kyrgios said: "I'm looking forward to it, he's one of my idols."

The 22-year-old from Canberra reached the quarter-finals in 2015 and suggested more is possible when he won the warm-up tournament in Brisbane.

The first two rounds have done nothing to dampen hopes of a first home winner of the men's singles title since 1976.

Kyrgios dominated against Troicki, at the same time having to cope with a helicopter that hovered above the court for several minutes, a fan who seemed to shout at him so he could film a video, and a faulty microphone that left British umpire James Keothavong having to shout for much of the time.

"It was tough, a lot of things going on," said Kyrgios.

"The guy in the crowd was crazy. I didn't really know what was going on. The helicopter, that's when I was thinking like, 'Of course, it's at my match. It's just hovering there. Of course, it is.'

"But that actually made it tough. It was tough to return. Hearing the ball actually come off the racquets is a pretty big thing.

"I missed four returns. I'm just going to blame it on the helicopter."

When told that the spectator with camera had later taken to social media, Kyrgios replied: "Good on him. Little claim to fame. Let him have it."

The only sign of frailty on court came when Kyrgios failed to serve out the match and was forced into a tie-break.

He showed no sign of nerves, however, racing through to wrap up victory in two hours and 12 minutes before making his way slowly off court as he signed dozens of autographs and posed for photos.

Analysis

Australia's 12-time Grand Slam doubles champion Mark Woodforde

The match felt almost like a five-set encounter. Troicki threw everything at Kyrgios, and overall he responded well. He had his moments where he lost his way but in the end he played pretty well.

He expects to play almost near-perfect tennis but if the umpire doesn't live up to that same level he can very quickly go off on a tangent and become distracted.

In the past he might have lost matches because of that but he's more mature now and hopefully he can minimise the unhappiness and the complaining and keep winning.

He thrives on playing the favourites. He doesn't feel scared whereas sometimes he might feel that way against players he should beat.

I'm tired but really happy - Tsonga

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates beating Denis Shapovalov at the Australian Open
Tsonga reached the Australian Open final in 2008, losing in four sets to Novak Djokovic

Tsonga, 32, had provided more drama on Rod Laver earlier in the day with a spectacular comeback.

He had lost to Shapovalov at the US Open last year and a repeat looked certain until the 18-year-old Canadian played a poor game serving for the match.

"I'm tired but really happy," said Tsonga, the 2008 finalist.

"I did a big fight, it's not easy to play against these young guns - they go for everything."

Croatia's Ivo Karlovic, who turns 39 next month, came through a marathon match against Japan's Yuichi Sugita, winning 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 4-6 12-10 in four hours and 33 minutes.

Sixth seed Marin Cilic enjoyed a straightforward 6-1 7-5 6-2 victory over Joao Sousa.

Follow tennis with the BBC
Alerts: Tennis news sent to your phone

Top Stories