Rain has left Nick Kyrgios on tenterhooks during the fifth set of his dramatic second-round tussle with Dustin Brown at Wimbledon.
Kyrgios will return trying to convert a break point with the giantkilling German serving at 3-3 in the deciding set after the match – originally scheduled for Thursday – was stopped twice more because of London’s lousy weather.
The 21-year-old had to fight back from two sets to one down and overcome another explosive showdown with the chair umpire just to level proceedings at 6-7 (3-7) 6-1 2-6 6-4 3-3 in a pulsating encounter on Friday.
Australia’s 15th seed had enough on his plate dealing with Brown, a proven grasscourt specialist who took out Rafael Nadal last year and fellow former champion Lleyton Hewitt in 2013, without clashing with officials.
But the match erupted at the start of the third set when Kyrgios saw red after American umpire Jake Garner ruled a double-bounce against him.
Replays appeared to confirm Kyrgios had in fact reached the ball in time after lunging forward to scoop up a Brown drop volley on the very first point of the third set.
“Are you kidding me right now?” Kyrgios steamed.
“I got that, mate. I got underneath with my racquet.
“Not that it matters because he would have had an easy ball, but that’s just horrendous by you guys once again.”
Brown agreed and, rattled by the incident, Kyrgios lost focus and immediately dropped serve the next game to fall behind 2-0.
Kyrgios then drew a code violation from Garner – on advice from a linesman – for an audible obscenity after venting his frustration towards his box.
But Kyrgios received support from his opponent, who then lashed the umpire for not only the double-hop blunder but for calling a let on a serve the German deemed to have cleared the net by a foot.
“You have (upset) both players now,” Brown blasted.
“You think that’s normal, that both players are complaining?
“You call that a double-hop when it wasn’t and then you call that a let.”
Brown kept his nerve to convert his early service break into a two-sets-to-one lead.
Kyrgios did well not to mentally unravel and seized a decisive break in the third game of the fourth set to force a fifth just one hour and 39 minutes.
Kyrgios, also upset about a “ridiculous” foot-fault called against him and by a linesman apparently laughing, was unable to convert any of three break points from love-40 on Brown’s serve in the seventh game of the deciding set before the heavens opened.
Fellow Australian Matt Barton trails John Isner 7-6 (10-8) 7-6 (7-3) 3-5 in his rain-interrupted second-round match despite having yet to drop serve against the American 18th seed.