Saturday nights on Melbourne Arena don’t get come better than that.
The noise was electric, the tennis was mind-blowing and emotions were spilled out on the court.
Nick Kyrgios has made this cauldron of a stadium his own throughout the first week and standing in his way of the second week was 16th seed Karen Khachanov.
Karen hadn’t been in great form coming into this tournament but had showed great fight and determination on route to this encounter with the Nick.
4 hours and 14 minutes of tennis took us to deciding match tie-break.
Nick Kyrgios had led the match by two sets to love, Karen Khachanov had fought back as the Australian looked to tire and his level dropped. During that time the tennis was still simply outstanding and the drama unfolded onto the noisy Melbourne Arena.
Nick was rightfully rilled during the fourth set receiving a time violation for simply following safety measures. During a point Nick hurt his hand and it was bleeding during a game. He told the ball kid not to get or take the towel which is the correct thing to do as it had blood on it but the umpire jumped the gun and gave him a time violation with Nick letting him know he doesn’t know what he is doing.
The match tie-break delivered.
Over four hours of incredibly tense tennis and these two incredible sportsman continued their battled as it approached 23:30 in Melbourne.
Who would find that extra edge in the final minutes?
A forehand into the net from Kyrgios gave Khachanov an 8-7 lead and two points from the win!
The sweetest of backhands down the line and Kyrgios levelled!
Two points later and Nick Kyrgios wins the longest match of his career!
6-2 7-6 6-7 6-7 7-6
Credit for Karen Khachanov for a great fight but this was Nick’s night.