In a thrilling match at the US Open on Sunday night, Nick Kyrgios defeated defending champion Daniil Medvedev 7-6(11), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to go to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows. The 23rd seed had a 3-1 ATP Head2Head advantage over Medvedev going into the match and was in the finest shape of his career, but defeating the top seed at a Grand Slam presented a completely different task. After two hours and 53 minutes, Australian won with ease, playing his aggressive style to victory.

On the Monday following the US Open, Medvedev will drop from first to second in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. The new World No. 1 will be Casper Ruud, Carlos Alcaraz, or Rafael Nadal. Kyrgios moves on to his first New York quarterfinal, where he will take on Karen Khachanov.

Even though Medvedev only committed 19 unforced errors during the match, Kyrgios was the star of the show. The fan favorite took advantage of the chance by hitting 21 aces and 53 overall winners. He frequently used the internet to put Medvedev under pressure, and he won 62% (29/47) of those points.

Despite a third-set error that would have confused many players, Kyrgios prevailed. At 30-all, the 27-year-old lost a chance at a break point when he sprinted around the net to complete a Medvedev floating volley that obviously lacked the speed to return to play.

The chair umpire properly gave the point to Medvedev, who would serve out the game, but only for comic relief. Rather than allowing the error upset him, Kyrgios remained composed and played some of his greatest tennis of the competition to advance past the top seed.

This year’s Citi Open and Wimbledon champion outweighed Medvedev and never let him feel at ease. The 2021 champion frequently confounds opponents with his lethal combination of strong serving and tenacious defensive. But when Nick posed the “Kyrgios Question” in front of a rowdy audience, Medvedev struggled to come up with any solutions.

The two faced off in Montreal just a few weeks prior, with Kyrgios winning in three sets. He followed up that victory in front of an enthusiastic crowd with an incredible performance. Kyrgios barely celebrated after hitting his 21st ace because he knew there was still work to be done in New York.

After Kyrgios displayed his theatrics early on and attempted to rouse the crowd, Medvedev followed suit, frequently waving to the crowd inside Arthur Ashe Stadium to entice them to shout louder. Early on, Medvedev demonstrated a different approach to returning than he did in Canada by positioning himself much nearer to the baseline. He would switch it up later in the first set to present his big-serving rival with other looks.

The set went to a tie-break after the defending champion overcame a break behind early on. On three of those points, he rallied to win the tie-break. At 8/7 on his third set chance, Kyrgios attempted a difficult backhand volley that narrowly missed the singles line.

From there, Kyrgios increased the pressure and used his drop shot brilliantly in the closing stages of the tie-break. The Australian faked a drop shot on the set point he scored, which caused Medvedev to miss a passing shot. Despite having a strong start to the second set, Kyrgios was unable to maintain his momentum.

Medvedev fully exploited the situation, taking the opening, and quickly went up 5-1. As the Australian regained focus, the set became more difficult, but Kyrgios misplayed a neutral backhand long, allowing his rival to tie the match.

Kyrgios made what might have been a crucial error early in the third set. The 23rd seed ran across the net and smacked away a ball that was not going to fall anywhere near the net when leading 1-0 and at 30/30 on Medvedev’s serve. You are not permitted to touch the ball on your opponent’s side of the court if the ball misses your side of the net and spins back to that side.

Kyrgios raised his finger in jubilation, believing he had just made the highlight video. Medvedev, who left the game, was awarded the point instead. Even though it appeared to be a crucial moment, the behavior showed otherwise.

In Medvedev’s following service game, the 23rd seed came back from a 40/0 deficit to serve out the remainder of the set with ease. From the moment of his error, Kyrgios took control of the match with his powerful serve and prevented Medvedev from feeling at ease.

In the fourth set, the Australian earned an early break once more and was desperate to hold onto it. In his triumph, Kyrgios broke service five times and fended off five of the eight break points he was presented with. Kyrgios will team up with Thanasi Kokkinakis on Monday in an effort to get to the doubles quarterfinals after defeating Kokkinakis in the opening round of singles play. On Sunday night, Kokkinakis was in Kyrgios’ box cheering on his fellow countryman.

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