Nick Kyrgios saved two match points in the fourth set before beating 29th-seeded Ugo Humbert 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 in a momentum-swinging second-round match at the Australian Open.
The mercurial Australian will meet third-seeded Dominic Thiem in the third round. Thiem lost the final at last year’s Australian Open and went one better to win the U.S. Open title.
Kyrgios is playing in his first major since the 2020 Australian Open. He hasn’t left Australia since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
He has played his first two matches on the third show court at Melbourne Park. It is officially renamed the John Cain Arena this year but known by Kyrgios and his fans as the Peoples' Court.
The official crowd at Melbourne Park on Wednesday was 19,900. That is the biggest so far of the tournament. The government has restricted the capacity to about 30,000 daily because of the pandemic.
There were thousands of fans watching Kyrgios play the late match and he said they helped him through “some dark thoughts there” when he was facing match points.