Kyrgios sees off Simon

Kyrgios sees off Simon

23/01/2020

Nick Kyrgios put in another box-office performance to see off Gilles Simon and edge ever closer to a rematch with Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open.

An impressive 6-2 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory on Melbourne Arena, Kyrgios' favourite court, means the Australian is through to face Karen Khachanov, who later came through a final set tie-break against Elias Ymer.

There were flying forehands and 'tweeners from Kyrgios - and even a cheeky imitation of Nadal following a time violation in the second set - and despite the 24-year-old losing focus in the third set, he sealed the win in just under three hours.

World number one Nadal is a potential fourth-round opponent, with the Spaniard beating Federico Delbonis in straight sets in his second round match.

"I was in a very comfortable position in the third set and I kind of lost my way a little bit. I got distracted from some pretty irrelevant things," Kyrgios told Eurosport after the match.

"But I managed to pull it back together in the fourth set. I'm just happy to get through.

"My game-style is to be aggressive and I had to be really patient. He wasn't giving me any free points."

On court after the match Kyrgios said "I'll request playing out here all the time but I??m not sure the tournament will let me.

"It's epic. You guys are awesome, that's why I usually request playing on here as long as I can. It's a home feel, you guys really get behind me, I love it."

Following on from his straight-sets win over Lorenzo Sonego, Kyrgios was in supreme nick in the first set, breaking Simon twice to take it 6-2.

Another break of serve straight away in the second saw Kyrgios storm to a 2-0 lead.

However, Kyrgios did receive a time violation in that set, proceeding to mimic Nadal and the Spaniard's serving routine when questioning the decision.

It was a sign that Kyrgios' focus had somewhat dropped - also laughing when Simon joined in with the fun - and he went on to lose the third set despite being 4-2 up.

However, Kyrgios avoided the decider when breaking in the 11th game and closing the match out in the 12th.

On his performance, Kyrgios added: "I definitely lost my way a little bit, he's a tough competitor who knows how to win matches. I just tried to refocus, I could have gone to a very dark place in the fourth set but I somehow put it away.

"It was a tough match, I was just happy to get through. It would have been very interesting if it went to a fifth set.

"I'm not thinking ahead. There are a lot of Aussies still in the draw, a lot of great players. I'm taking it one match at a time."

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