Nick Kyrgios survived a nasty fall on his way to wining his rollercoaster five-set first round Wimbledon clash with 21st seed Ugo Humbert.
Kyrgios and Humbert returned to Court No. 1 to complete their match that was suspended at 11pm local time on Monday night due to Wimbledon’s curfew.
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Just before the match resumed, the Australian admitted he felt sluggish as a result of the short turnaround.
“I’m so tired,” he said in the tunnel before heading out onto the court, adding: “I just want to have a beer at the pub”.
Kyrgios was noticeably stiff and massaged his shoulder, but it quickly warmed up as he and Humbert held their service games relatively comfortably to take the score to 7-7.
The 26-year-old sent a scare through the crowd when he slipped over on the baseline during a rally and appeared to hurt his knee or hip.
He immediately cried out in agony but managed to shrug off the pain and continue the match.
Shortly after, Kyrgios hit some sublime backhands to break Humbert’s serve in the fifteenth game before closing out the match 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-1 9-7.
“Not too bad for a part time player,” Kyrgios joked after the match.
“I knew that I was a massive underdog.
“It didn’t take much for me to get off the couch in Canberra. Wimbledon is one of my favourite events and I heard there was going to be some crowd. I love playing here so it was an easy decision for me.”
Kyrgios had to overcome Wimbledon’s “ridiculous” curfew to progress to the second round at the All England Club.
The Australian’s rollercoaster first round match against Humbert was suspended with the score level at 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 3-3.
“It was tough. It was a long day at the courts yesterday,” Kyrgios said of the quick turnaround.
“It started raining and I thought it was going to get cancelled and I smashed so much food.
“That’s why I had a slow start, I think.”
Kyrgios said he wasn’t bothered by his fall but was feeling the effects of playing his first match in almost six months.
“Honestly, I was in so much pain this morning physically. It’s been a while since I’ve played so I honestly just rolled into bed last night, fell asleep then at it again.
“It’s very easy to get up for it, having a full crowd out here was so much fun.”
“I’m just going to go to the hotel, play some Call of Duty with my girlfriend and try and chill out and come back out and play again.”
“It’s simple, it’s pretty easy”.
It’s the second time this year that Kyrgios has defeated Hubert in a five-setter at a grand slam, following the Canberran’s epic win over the Frenchman in the second round of the Australian Open.
Kyrgios will next face Italy’s Gianluca Mager in the second round.
Tennis fans weren’t happy they were made to wait another day to see the conclusion of the epic five-set match.
Wimbledon’s 11pm curfew is the result of a long-term agreement between the tournament and neighbouring residents of the All England Club that have previously complained about being disturbed by Wimbledon patrons and noise coming from the facilities.
How ridiculous the 11pm Wimbledon curfew is. Surely the neighbours can put up with it once a year… Kyrgios looking great.
— Ben Lewis (@benlewismedia) June 29, 2021
Play suspended at 3-3 in the 5th set because of the stupid 11 pm curfew. Nick Kyrgios vs Ugo Humbert will continue tomorrow! A bad start tomorrow for either player will mean a flight back home. Very tricky situation. #Wimbledon
— PP (@PrashantSport) June 29, 2021
Kyrgios was his unpredictable self during the match and expressed his frustration about the speed of the grass court at Wimbledon.
At the change of ends Kyrgios knew the camera was on him and took the chance to complain to TV viewers tuning in about the court speed.
“For those of you guys at home right now, this should be fast. It’s grass court tennis,” he said earlier in the match. “This is slow. It’s slow.
“It’s turf, it should be fast. They made it slow. It’s not turf anymore, it’s a joke.
“This isn’t grass anymore … start watering it … make it a grass court again please!”
Originally published as Kyrgios survives Wimbledon scare