Perhaps only Nick Kyrgios can be showman and business-like at the same time.
The electrifying Aussie charged into the fourth round of the US Open Friday night with plenty of flair and exaggerated celebrations, but with far fewer of his bad-boy antics during a largely focussed 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 win over American J. J. Wolf.
The Wimbledon finalist could next meet World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev in a blockbuster match Sunday as he attempts to reach the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows for the first time.
The 23rd seed fended off all seven break points he faced, including three at 0/40 in his opening service game of the third set, needing one hour, 54 minutes to sail to victory in front of raucous fans on Louis Armstrong Stadium.
“It was a very tough match for me,” Kyrgios said. “I knew J.J. is a home crowd favourite, I knew I had to be on my guns today and serve well. I’m just really happy to move forward.
“I’m really excited to play Medvedev if he wins,” Kyrgios said in his on-court interview while the World No. 1 was in the first set of his match with Wu Yibing.
Three-weeks ago, Kyrgios extended his ATP Head2Head series lead to 3-1 against Medvedev, after pulling off an upset at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Montreal, Canada.
Both Kyrgios and Wolf entertained the crowd Friday as they engaged in a tug-of-war contest from the baseline, including several passing shots that raised fans to their feet. The Australian struck 21 aces en route to victory, often painting the lines and hitting his targets at ease.
Kyrgios, who improves to 34-9 this season and is 13-2 since his maiden Grand Slam final at the All England Club, has already moved up three places this week to No. 22 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. Should he advance to the quarter-finals, the 27-year-old would return to the Top 20 for the first time since February 2020.
The Canberra native is inching closer towards regaining his status as the Australian No. 1, a mark that Alex de Minaur currently holds as No. 19 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.
“I’m doing it (winning) for my team as well, we’ve all been away from home for a while. I’m just playing for a lot of people back home,” Kyrgios said.
Wolf, who upset 16th seed Roberto Bautista Agut on day one, equalled his career-best Grand Slam result by reaching the third round this week in New York.
Kyrgios conquered the third round at the season’s final Slam for the first time in five tries Friday night. He will next face the winner of Medvedev and Wu Sunday.
“At the US Open, this is the furthest I’ve ever gone, so it’s a special year for me already, hopefully I can keep it going” Kyrgios said.