Melbourne - Italian
Andreas Seppi avenged a five-set loss two years ago with an epic
victory to dump wayward home hope Nick Kyrgios out of the Australian
Open on Wednesday.
In a madcap match played in a charged atmosphere, 14th seed Kyrgios
looked in command with a two sets lead before a familiar meltdown in the
third set changed the complexion of the contest.
The 89th-ranked Seppi, who saved a match point, advanced to a
third-round match with Belgium's Steve Darcis with a 1-6, 6-7 (1/7),
6-4, 6-2, 10-8 win in three hours, nine minutes.
Kyrgios won a five-set scrap with Seppi on the same Hisense Arena
court in 2015, taking their fourth round match 8-6 in the fifth set.
"Maybe it was meant to be," Seppi said of avenging his 2015 loss to the 21-year-old Australian.
"It was a tough match and I couldn't get into a rhythm and fell 2-0
sets behind. I kept fighting and started to play well in the important
"I was concentrating on my game and not worrying about he was doing. It was important to keep going and to stay focused."
Yet again Kyrgios' brittle temperament snapped during the third set
as Seppi came storming back after looking down for the count.
Kyrgios was given a warning for an audible obscenity by chair umpire
Carlos Ramos before he bounced his racquet angrily into the court after a
break of service.
Ramos docked him a point penalty as Seppi served out for the third set to turn the tide against the volatile Australian.
The 32-year-old Italian maintained his composure and seized the
advantage as the body language of Kyrgios showed a player who had
suddenly switched off.
Instead of regathering his composure, Kyrgios rushed through his service games giving away cheap points.
Unflappable Seppi quickly levelled the match and sent it into a fifth set after earlier looking headed for a straight-sets exit.
But Kyrgios rallied in the final set and held three break points at
4-3, only for Seppi to save them all and level as the home crowd
exhorted every point from the Australian.
Kyrgios had a match point at 8-7 but Seppi saved with a magnificent
deep forehand winner before the Australian double-faulted on break point
to give Seppi his winning chance.
Seppi brought up two match points at 9-8 and won with an ace, dumping Kyrgios out of his home Grand Slam after two rounds.
Results from the Australian Open on Wednesday (x denotes seeding):
Malek Jaziri (TUN) bt Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 6-2, 6-3, 7-5
Lukas Lacko (SVK) bt Dudi Sela (ISR) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
Kei Nishikori (JPN x5) bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-3, 6-4, 6-3
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x12) bt Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 6-2, 6-2, 6-3
Tomas Berdych (CZE x10) bt Ryan Harrison (USA) 6-3, 7-6 (8/6), 6-2
Roger Federer (SUI x17) bt Noah Rubin (USA) 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3)
Stan Wawrinka (SUI x4) bt Steve Johnson (USA) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
Sam Querrey (USA x31) bt Alex De Minaur (AUS) 7-6 (7/5), 6-0, 6-1
Mischa Zverev (GER) bt John Isner (USA x19) 6-7 (4/7), 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 7-6 (9/7), 9-7
Viktor Troicki (SRB x29) bt Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 6-3
Steve Darcis (BEL) bt Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 6-3, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
Jack Sock (USA x23) bt Karen Khachanov (RUS) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
Andreas Seppi (ITA) bt Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 1-6, 6-7 (1/7), 6-4, 6-2, 10-8
Angelique Kerber (GER x1) bt Carina Witthoeft (GER) 6-2, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2
Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) bt Irina Begu (ROM x27) 6-4, 7-6 (10/8)
Alison Riske (USA) bt Zhang Shuai (CHN x20) 7-6 (9/7), 4-6, 6-1
Duan Yingying (CHN) bt Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 6-1, 3-6, 10-8
Venus Williams (USA x13) bt Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 6-3, 6-2
Elina Svitolina (UKR x11) bt Julia Boserup (USA) 6-4, 6-1
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x24) bt Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) 6-2, 6-2
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) bt Julia Goerges (GER) 6-3, 6-4
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x8) bt Jaimee Fourlis (AUS) 6-2, 6-1
Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) bt Peng Shuai (CHN) 7-6 (7/5), 6-2
Coco Vandeweghe (USA) bt Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)
Sorana Cirstea (ROM) bt Carla Suarez (ESP x10) 7-6 (7/1), 6-3
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x32) bt Kristína Kucova (SVK) 6-3, 6-4
Garbine Muguruza (ESP x7) bt Samantha Crawford (USA) 7-5, 6-4
Ashleigh Barty (AUS) bt Shelby Rogers (USA) 7-5, 6-1
Mona Barthel (GER) bt Monica Puig (PUR x29) 6-4, 6-4