Nick Kyrgios did everything right as he celebrated his 23rd birthday in style, going into the locker room after the first set with a valuable 2-0 lead against Mischa Zverev.
But there was a clearly significant hesitation in the Australian’s match against Alexander Zverev that suggested Kyrgios had made a fundamental mistake that would soon catch up with him.
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It was confirmed after match that the 20-year-old Australian had breached tennis’ code for player behaviour and this time would have to serve a code violation during the second set. As it happened, Kyrgios took the seat in the chair just after he was assessed his penalty, although that presumably wasn’t his intention, instead opting to serve some games to reprieve himself from spending a second serving violation.
And that was the point in the second set where Zverev had a bit of lightening, outplaying the in-form Australian 5-1 to level the match. It was perhaps the better of the two and would have seen the German through the match. But the momentum had shifted with Kyrgios’s decision to come to the chair and serve out the match, eventually doing so but not without immediately being warned by tournament referee Brian Earley.
This third-round win also served as Kyrgios’s last competitive match until after Wimbledon as the world No13 flies the Australian flag for the nation’s Davis Cup team. The Davis Cup teams resume their tie against France on Friday with the captains scheduled to meet ahead of the tie with singles matches scheduled on Friday and Saturday and doubles matches on Sunday.