On Saturday the 25th of January, Australian star Nick Kyrgios defeated Karen Khachanov in the third round of the Australian Open 2020, to set up a round-0f-16 clash against Spanish legend Rafael Nadal.
Kyrgios won 6-2, 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 7-6 as the final set ended in a super tie-breaker. While he scored 10 points in the super tie-breaker, Khachanov scored only two points lesser – indicating as to how close the Australia international’s win was.
‘We might not like each other but we have mutual respect’ – Kyrgios on Nadal
During the match, the 24-year-old also showed off a previously unseen ability not to let setbacks rattle him against his Russian opponent.
There were times when Kyrgios had genuine cause to be annoyed – for instance when he was awarded a time violation for taking too long between points after cutting his finger.
The incident happened during the fourth set of the match when both players were tied at 4-4, Kyrgios extended to return Khachanov’s wide shot, and in doing so, he ended up doing a full roll on the ground – and meanwhile, his opponent failed to get to the ball in time, giving the Australian the point.
Kyrgios on triumphing over Khachanov in thriller and facing Nadal next
However, his effort also caused an injury to his hand. He used a towel to wipe off the blood, and instead of handing it to a ball kid to take care of (which would have been dangerous to do without gloves), Kyrgios walked the towel back to the side himself – which the umpire Renaud Lichtenstein deemed as a “wastage of time” before calling a time violation.
Watch the video of the incident right here:
Once the umpire called the time penalty, Kyrgios threw his racket on the ground and started lashing out at him.
“My hand is bleeding. My hand is bleeding. What do you want me to do?” he said, before adding:
Nadal ‘doesn’t care’ about Kyrgios Rafa impression
“There’s blood all over the towel. I told the ball kid not to touch it. That’s all I said.”
“What are you, stupid? Can you not see? Well, take it back then. Why do I get a time violation? My hand’s bleeding.”
It should also be mentioned that the time violation did not stop Kyrgios from eventually winning the match in five sets and thereby setting up a fourth-round showdown with Rafael Nadal.