At the Terra Wortmann Open, Nick Kyrgios is finding his stride on the grass. On Wednesday afternoon, the Australian recovered from a first-set defeat to defeat second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 in the ATP 500 event in Halle. After a great effort in the second set to tie the match, the World No. 65 grabbed a critical break late in the deciding set to secure a quarter-final berth on his tournament debut. Despite hitting less wins (32 winners, including 9 aces) than Tsitsipas (39 winners, including 18 aces), the Australian held on to win the two-hour, five-minute match and accomplish his largest win by Pepperstone ATP Ranking since defeating the same opponent at the 2020 ATP Cup.
“Stef is one of the best players in the world at the moment and he’s going to have some amazing results and I’m sure many, many Grand Slams,” said Kyrgios after the match. “I don’t know if I can say the same for me, but I’m happy to still be able to produce this level with the tournaments I play. It is a testament to how hard I do work when I’m not playing. I’m just super excited to move on as well, I want to keep having these big wins on the best courts in the world.”
Kyrgios followed up his semi-final performance in Stuttgart last week with a commanding first-round victory in Halle over home favourite Daniel Altmaier. On Wednesday, he looked bright on the grass against Tsitsipas, but only after the Greek had won a high-quality opening set to put Kyrgios’ resolve to the test. After a shaky start in which Tsitsipas only won five points against serve in the opening nine games, he raised his game to put some pressure on Kyrgios’ delivery. As Kyrgios fought to tie the match at 5-5, Tsitsipas’ perseverance paid off in the 12th game, when he converted his sixth set point to take the lead.
Kyrgios quickly recovered after falling behind, displaying his exceptional shotmaking ability on numerous occasions. Kyrgios broke twice to push the match into a deciding set with a couple of rasping flat forehands that had the fans on their feet. When faced with two break points in the fifth game and the sixth set, neither Tsitsipas nor Kyrgios surrendered to the pressure. Kyrgios, on the other hand, took advantage of a lull in Tsitsipas’ game, his ability to find winners from all over the court propelling him earn a critical break for 5-4 before serving out to love.