Nick Kyrgios still has everything to prove at the Australian Open despite his incredible win over Ugo Humbert, says Mats Wilander.
Kyrgios looked down and out in the fourth set as he faced two match points on Wednesday, but he rallied, broke back, won the tiebreak, then powered to victory in the decider.
He will now face world number three and US Open champion Dominic Thiem in the third round, and it’s a match in which he will start a strong second favourite.
However, Eurosport expert and former world number one Wilander says Kyrgios mustn’t think he has nothing to lose, because he actually has everything to prove.
On Kyrgios’ upcoming match against Thiem, Wilander said: “I think he needs to win this type of match if he is to go to that next level.
Wilander also believes that what we are seeing from Kyrgios this week is nothing new, and he still has many questions to answer.
“It’s a typical situation for Nick Kyrgios – does he have enough hours in repetition on the practice court to be able to threaten someone like Dominic Thiem after the match like he had today against Humbert?
“We’ve seen it in the past that it’s tough for him to come back but it’s a scenario that’s being repeated at the Australian Open nearly every year.
“Nick plays a great match on that court, maybe two matches, and then he comes and plays a better guy and he’s running out of steam a little bit because it’s so emotional for him to play.
“On paper, it’s great – it’s a fast court, Nick can serve out of his mind. It’s a tough match and Nick will have to hit a lot of aces to have a chance in that match you would think.
“He played Dimitrov a couple of years ago, big match but didn’t win it.
“And that’s what I mean, he needs to prove to himself that he can win a match like that and take out one of the best players in the world in the following round. That’s what he hasn’t done.
“We know he can win five-setters, but can he back it up, and actually win the next round against a world-class player? That’s the question.”
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