Kyrgios topples idol Tsonga in electric clash

Nick Kyrgios (Getty)
Nick Kyrgios (Getty)

Melbourne - Australia's Nick Kyrgios won an electric four-setter with his idol Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to advance to the round of 16 at the Australian Open on Friday.

The 17th seeded Kyrgios needed three tiebreakers to win a crunch match with the former finalist 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/5) in 3 hours and 17 minutes in a spectacular night match on Rod Laver Arena.

It pitches the volatile Australian into a round of 16 showdown with Bulgaria's world No.3 Grigor Dimitrov on Sunday.

Kyrgios, urged on by his home crowd, traded breath-taking volleys with Tsonga, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2008 Australian final when Kyrgios was a 12-year-old fan.

"It was amazing. I've never won a match on this court before but playing Jo I was obviously very nervous," Kyrgios said on court.

"He was a guy I looked up to as a kid, still do, he's a great guy. I'm just so happy to get through.

"I was getting prepared for a fifth set in that (fourth set) tiebreaker.

"I thought he was going to hit two big first serves and I was in a lot of trouble but I stayed composed, tied to make some returns and fight it out."  

The match had some drama just after the third set when an incensed Tsonga yelled at the chair umpire in French about a vocal member of the crowd.

Tsonga was heard to say "bring him here, he needs to come down here".

He said it three times before the umpire warned the French star, telling him: "You have to stop, you have to stop. Nothing good can come from it. You have to stop."

Tsonga was then issued with a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Kyrgios won his first home ATP Tour title at the lead-up Brisbane International - beating Dimitrov along the way - and is looking to go further than a quarter-final appearance in Melbourne three years ago.

Results from the Australian Open on Friday:

Men's singles

3rd round

Kyle Edmund (GBR) bt Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 7-6 (7/0), 3-6, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5

Pablo Carreno-Busta (ESP x10) bt Gilles Muller (LUX x23) 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 7-5, 7-5

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x3) bt Andrey Rublev (RUS x30) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

Diego Schwartzman (ARG x24) bt Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) 6-7 (1/7), 6-2, 6-3, 6-3

Andreas Seppi (ITA) bt Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (3/7), 6-7 (5/7), 9-7

Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Damir Dzumhur (BIH x28) 6-1, 6-3, 6-1

Nick Kyrgios (AUS x17) bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x15) 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/5)

Marin Cilic (CRO x6) bt Ryan Harrison (USA) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)

Women's singles

3rd round

Petra Martic (CRO) bt Luksika Kumkhum (THA) 6-3, 3-6, 7-5

Denisa Allertova (CZE) bt Magda Linette (POL) 6-1, 6-4

Elise Mertens (BEL) bt Alize Cornet (FRA) 7-5, 6-4

Elina Svitolina (UKR x4) bt Marta Kostyuk (UKR) 6-2, 6-2

Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK x19) bt Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 7-5, 3-6, 6-1

Carla Suarez (ESP) bt Kaia Kanepi (EST) 3-6, 6-1, 6-3

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