Melbourne: Nick Kyrgios had to deal with off-court distractions as he brushed aside Serbian Viktor Troicki in straight sets to reach the third round at the Australian Open on Wednesday.
The explosive Australian 17th seed was in control, winning 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2), but had to cope with an attention-seeking disruptive fan, an inoperative court microphone and a helicopter hovering persistently over the chaotic Hisense Arena.
After missing a match point and a couple of loose forehands, Kyrgios was broken by Troicki, who forced the final set into a tiebreak.
But the 22-year-old Australian was clinical, rifling through it to hold five match points before winning 7/2.
"It was tough, there was a lot of stuff going on out there, had a helicopter above us for three games and the (umpire) microphone wasn't working for pretty much the whole match," Kyrgios said.
"I kind of lost my rhythm a little bit. Yeah, I thought I dealt with everything pretty well.
"I think last year I probably would have been still out on the court right now, could be losing that match," he said.
With Kyrgios about to serve early in the match, a young man in the crowd stood up near the players' boxes and chanted loudly before he was ushered out of the stadium by security staff.
He then had to deal with the helicopter which stayed above the unenclosed stadium for several minutes before moving on.
Kyrgios, who has a notorious on-court temperament, said he was learning self-control during the Troicki-type matches.
"I know I have to conserve my energy from the start in best-of-five matches. Just so many ups and downs, it's draining. You want to just conserve as much energy as you can," he said.
"I feel like obviously my game helped me in the tiebreaker. I played a pretty good level in the tiebreak."
In among all the commotion Kyrgios was in a different class to the 65th-ranked Troicki, who has reached the round of 16 five times at Grand Slams.
Kyrgios, who was slapped with a $3,000 penalty for colourful language in his first round match, looked imperious at times, mixing up blistering forehands with delicate touch shots to enthrall the home crowd.
He will next play French 15th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round.
"Looking forward to it. He is one of my idols. He is a good friend of mine," Kyrgios said.
"We played last year in Marseille. He beat me in a three-set battle. It was a lot of fun.
"I've seen him play a lot. I know what he's going to bring. He knows what I'm going to bring. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Kyrgios won his first home ATP Tour title at the lead-up Brisbane International and is looking to go further than a quarter-final appearance in Melbourne three years ago.
Published Date: Jan 17, 2018 18:20 PM | Updated Date: Jan 17, 2018 18:20 PM