Nick Kyrgios Saves a Match Point to Beat Stefanos Tsitsipas, Will Meet Medvedev in Citi Open Final
(August 3, 2019) WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nick Kyrgios saved a match point to beat top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(7) in the semifinals of Citi Open on Saturday night at Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C.
It was a match filled with high quality play, yet ups and downs for both players. Kyrgios started off taking a 6-4, 2-0 lead and looked to be in control and on his way to a straight set win. After that the Aussie appeared to lose control and let the man from Greece back into the match.
Kyrgios hit a number of unforced errors, banged his racquet, given code violations and helped deliver Tsitsipas’ shoes to him on the court after his laces broke. It’s the third time this tournament that Tsitsipas had to change his sneakers due to a broken shoelace.
Will you come to the ball, Cinderella?
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) August 4, 2019
“That was funny,” said the man from Greece about the Aussie helping with his shoe delivery. “ I mean, I think from my reaction was the way I should have reacted. Sometimes you cannot really take anything serious. You have to just go with the flow. If you take those things too serious, like some other players have did in the past, there’s nothing good out of it, so you just have to be the same childish and the same fun as he is.”
He and Kyrgios played doubles together earlier this week, losing in the first round to the No. 1 seed.
“The thing is that you expect those things before the match starts,” he added. “It’s not something new when you see those things on court. So it’s his way of feeling comfortable when he’s on the court. Yeah, he’s entertaining people. Some people love him, some people hate him. I believe we need people like him in the game, otherwise everything becomes too serious. Yeah, he’s fun. I’m serious, as well, when I play. I try to get the best out of my game by being focused and having a game face. But yeah, he has said some good things about me, and I appreciate that.”
Tsitsipas went on to win five out of the next six games to level the match at 4-6, 6-3.
“It was spiraling out of control at one point,” said Kyrgios. “I’ve been in that position a lot, and it’s gone even worse. I’ve been defaulted before. I haven’t competed in the third set. So I’m pretty happy with myself the way I tried to drag it back from a dark place and managed to hold on the first couple service games in the third set and just competed. I just left it all out there and gave myself a chance to win the match, and honestly, it could have gone either way. He fully deserved to win, as well. I’m pretty happy the way I somehow just battled in and dug deep.”
The third set went to a tiebreak, where Kyrgios took a 5-1 lead and looked as though the tiebreak would end quickly. Tsitsipas came back to get back on serve and got himself to match point at 7-6.
“He had his ups and downs during the match,” said Tsitsipas. “It felt like sometimes he didn’t care at all. Then I don’t know, it’s probably part of his plan or tactic when he plays to get you out of focus. Everyone has his own way.
“But I was sure that he’s not going to — I mean, he’s not going to do it all. When the third set starts, he did it in the second set towards the end of it. Yeah, got frustrated, had a couple of called violations, time violations. I really don’t know if he does it on purpose, but the level of tennis was good. He was playing well. He was on fire at some moments during the match. I got a bit, I would say, unlucky in the tiebreak. I got broken twice in the beginning. He kept holding his serve and putting pressure on me.”
“I was thinking about it during the match that people loved the competition that both of us brought into the court,” Tsitsipas said. “So I believe it’s very good for the tournament to have matches like this.
“Nick in my opinion is underrated, and yeah, I guess the rivalry between me and him looks bright, and I’m pretty sure we’re going to face each other plenty of times in the future.”
“His serve was just unreal in the first set. I couldn’t do anything. He just gets inside the ball. I don’t know, he just — it’s like he’s serving inside the service box when he serves. You always have to guess. I haven’t seen anything like it. Probably him and (John) Isner. I’ve faced Isner, and Isner has one of the most difficult serves to return in the game.
“I’m pretty sure if I had the opportunity to return a little bit more, probably get him into the rally, things would be different, but I didn’t do so. He served two unbelievable serves. I don’t really remember which — was it 6-All? Yeah, I think it was — I came back from 5-1 and he was just ripping the hell out of the ball. I don’t know.”
“This week has been awesome,” said Kyrgios. “It’s probably one of the best tournament weeks of my life. I’ve really enjoyed myself. D.C. has been a lot of fun. Crowds have been awesome. But I mean, I’m just doing the right things. I’m having the same routine every day. I’m trying to improve on a lot of little habits, and it’s paying off. Five days in a row competing, I’m pretty happy with myself.”
“I don’t even look at the rankings,” he added. “I believe that I can beat anyone if I play the right way. I think the ranking system is overrated. I just go out there and play my game, and I think I can beat anyone.”
Kyrgios will be taking on Russia’s Daniil Medvedev moved past German lucky loser Peter Gojowczyk 6-2, 6-2 in just 56 minutes. Kyrgios leads the head-to-head against Medvedev, 1-0. Kyrgios beat Medvedev earlier this year in Rome. Medvedev has won four titles so far this year on the ATP Tour, while Kyrgios has won one. Kyrgios is 4-1 against top ten players this year.
“Yeah, he’s a super unorthodox player,” Kyrgios said. “He’s got a very tough game, hits the ball flat. Unbelievable athlete I think for his size. He moves really well. That match in Rome was high level. I thought I played the right way, I had the right tactics, so he’s going to make adjustments. But I’m not thinking about that right now.
“I’m so tired. I just want to have a good rest and come out tomorrow and have some fun. But yeah, he’s one of the best players in the world, top 10, obviously, but he’s going to have a very — I think he’s going to have a very long and consistent career.”
On his one match against Kyrgios, Medvedev commented: “Well, I was not ready. I got injured in Madrid, which I basically of course never say before the match to try to win, but I got injured in Madrid so I was not at all ready in Rome, but it was a tight match, and with guys like Nick and me, it always comes to one break of serve or to a tiebreak, so that’s probably what we are both looking for tomorrow, just do our best on the return and stay solid, and that will be the key.”
“Sometimes I enjoy what he does, sometimes not, and I think it’s about everybody. Everybody sometimes enjoys him, sometimes not. I’m ready for it. I have been feeling very good in my head this tournament. I mean, didn’t break a record — I think I even didn’t throw a record once, and that can be the record. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Medvedev who is No. 10 in the world will move up to No. 8 if he wins the title, or No. 9 if he loses. Kyrgios, currently at 53, will move up to the top 35 if he loses, top 30 if he wins.
More to follow…..