Kyrgios showed glimpses of his electric best and combustible temper during the 6-2 6-4 4-6 7-5 win, as he attempts to reach the quarter-final of his home grand slam for just the second time in his career.
However, in order to do that, Kyrgios will first have to defeat rival Nadal in the fourth round, provided the pair both come through unscathed.
There is a streak of bad blood between the pair, dating back to Nadal’s objections to Kyrgios’s underarm serves at a tournament in Acapulco last year. Kyrgios then labelled the 19-time grand slam winner “super-salty” and admitted trying to deliberately hit him during their second-round match at Wimbledon.
And while serving for the second set against Simon on Thursday, Kyrgios responded to receiving a time violation by highlighting a perceived lax attitude by umpires towards the Spaniard’s service tics. Watch the video below:
.@NickKyrgios not too happy at being called on a time violation...
Wonder who he's talking about here? 🤔
🇦🇺 Watch the #AusOpen LIVE
📺 Eurosport 1 and 2
📱💻🖥 Eurosport Player: https://t.co/0Fa7uXMVB9 pic.twitter.com/758iQPztoB— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK)January 23, 2020
Kyrgios launched into a fiery outburst in the third set after losing four straight games and began to angrily direct his frustrations towards his team. However, he ultimately recovered in the fourth, breaking Simon’s service in the 11th game to clinch victory.
“I definitely lost my way a little bit, he’s a tough competitor, he knows how to win matches,” Kyrgios said. “I just tried to refocus. I could have gone to a very dark place in the fourth set.
“I’m just happy to get through. It could have been very interesting if it had gone to a fifth set.”
The Australian will now face the winner of Karen Khachanov and Mikael Ymer in the third round.