Nick Kyrgios lost his cool on numerous occasions during his Australian Open 2021 second-round match against Ugo Humbert of France but somehow won in an epic, 5-7 6-4 3-6 7-6 6-4 to delight the supporters packed into John Cain Arena deep into the night.
Conducting the post-match interview after Kyrgios set up a third-round showdown with Dominic Thiem, saving two match points in the process, Jim Courier described the raucous affair as "the best tennis has sounded since the pandemic".
And speaking to Eurosport after the unforgettable encounter, Kyrgios said it was "one of the craziest matches ever" as he rallied to win despite a number of blow-ups along the way.
"During the match when the crowd were going nuts, I felt more composed than ever in my career. I didn't actually feel as crazy as I would have from the outside," he told Barbara Schett and Mats Wilander.
'I'm still in awe, I don't know what to feel' - Kyrgios after Humbert epic
"I'm still in awe to be honest. I don't know what to feel right now. That was one of the strangest matches I've ever played.... I don't know how I got out of that. That was one of the craziest matches ever."
The unseeded Australian was in fiery form from the outset as he battled the Frenchman in the final match of the day on the third court at Melbourne Park and staged a comeback to win in five sets.
Meltdowns and magic as Kyrgios beats Humbert in unforgettable five-setter
Humbert, the 29th seed, watched on in bewilderment as Kyrgios had an exchange with the umpire over the machine operating the net cord early on and the drama only grew from there.
"It was this high over the net!" Kyrgios, who later received a point penalty for continued violations, fumed to the umpire after she called a let in the first set.
‘Well, that was coming’ – Kyrgios fumes again, receives point penalty
"Reset the machine, because the ball was this high over the net!
Look at the replay! Look at the replay! It was this high over the net. Obviously something is wrong. So reset the machine!
'Reset the machine!' - Kyrgios gets into row with umpire
"It was this high over the net!" he continued to insist while gesticulating towards the umpire.
That incident was swiftly followed by some classic Kyrgios racket-hurling as the crowd on John Cain Arena laughed.
"That racket won't see another day!" mused Chris Bradnam on commentary for Eurosport at the time.
'That racket won't see another day!' - Kyrgios loses his cool
The 25-year-old continued to complain bitterly about the net device as the match wore on into a fifth set, repeatedly ranting about it "ruining the game".
At one point, one of his shots dislodged the monitoring device from the net itself.
'It's ruining the game!' - Kyrgios furious with umpire
The development prompted Kyrgios into another tirade at the umpire, at a stage when it appeared he was close to crossing the line, having already been docked a point.
But despite all the drama between points, it was also an incredible marathon match with Kyrgios taking a dramatic fourth set tie-break to the delight of the Melbourne crowd and going on to clinch a late victory in classic fashion.
'Wow, that's a surprise!' - Kyrgios congratulates Humbert on winner
The latest Kyrgios epic followed Eurosport expert Mats Wilander backing Novak Djokovic in the ongoing feud between the pair.
"Well Novak, I think he is trying to end it, because I don't think he's enjoying it," Wilander said in the Eurosport Cube after the Serb beat Frances Tiafoe in the second round.
He's trying to win his ninth Australian Open, he's in the chase to be the greatest of all time. He doesn't have time [for this] and doesn't want to waste energy.
'Djokovic doing a great job' - Wilander backs Novak over Kyrgios in spat
"Then on the other hand, I think you see Nick Kyrgios, who is quite enjoying it. I also think it's a little bit of a different generation and social media has become a huge part of it.
"So it seems that Nick is enjoying it; Novak wants an end [to it]."
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