Nick Kyrgios rallied to topple world number one Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Montreal Masters on Wednesday as the top three seeds tumbled in the second round.
Australia’s Wimbledon finalist beat Medvedev 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-2 to produce his second career upset of a reigning number one after ambushing Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2014.
Unseeded American Tommy Paul also came from a set down to send second-seeded Carlos Alcaraz of Spain packing 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (9/7), 6-3 while unseeded Briton Jack Draper beat third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 7-5, 7-6 (7/4).
Kyrgios started the landslide. The mercurial Aussie produced his usual on-court antics, complaining about a high bounce, hitting a ball into the stands to draw a warning and bickering with his player box in moments of tension.
But after gathering his formidable resources, the 27-year-old ranked 37th finished off Medvedev in exactly two hours.
“I don’t go in looking at the rankings, just the guy in front of me,” Kyrgios said. “I had a clean objective today – play a lot of serve and volley and execute better.
“Hopefully I can keep this rolling and keep on winning.”
Both players were coming off weekend title wins, Kyrgios at the Washington 500 on Sunday and Medvedev at Los Cabos, Mexico, on Saturday.
Kyrgios has won 14 of his last 15 matches to improve to 29-7 for 2022. Medvedev lost for the 11th time in 2022, but by reaching the final at Los Cabos – where he lifted his first trophy of the season – he is assured of taking the number one ranking into his US Open title defense later this month.
He was barred from Wimbledon as the tournament excluded Russian and Belarussian players over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Alcaraz, who like Medvedev enjoyed a first-round bye, fared no better in his opening match, with the teenager admitting pressure got to him.
Alcaraz came into the event with two prestige Masters 1000 titles from Miami and Madrid and holding a 42-7 record this season.
“It was the first time that I couldn’t handle the pressure,” Alcaraz said. “I felt the pressure (of being) the number two seed and number four in the world.
“It was the first time that I felt this pressure.”
The youngster added: “I had chances, I was a break up in the second set, had chances to win the match.
“He played really good in the tough moments. He played great, and I couldn’t show my best.”
The 34th-ranked Paul claimed victory on a volley winner after holding off the Spaniard’s charge from 5-2 down in the third set.
“It was nice to finish this match at the net,” said Paul, who fired 36 winners to Alcaraz’s 33. “I did a lot of things well today. “I played a good level of tennis, comfortable tennis.”
Tsitsipas completed the hat-trick of losses for the tournament elite.
Draper, 20, earned his first career win over a top-10 opponent as he reached the third round in just over two hours with five breaks of the Tsitsipas serve.
Fourth seed Casper Ruud made it safely through, backing up his defeat earlier this season of Alex Molcan with a 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 victory over the Slovakian.
The Norwegian with three trophies so far in 2022 had to work to win the opening set after dropping serve as he tried to close it out leading 5-4.
However, he sealed his third-round place in straight sets for his 36th win of the season.
Elsewhere, Italian Jannik Sinner needed three sets to get past Adrian Mannarino 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 while Alex de Minaur lined up an all-Aussie Thursday match against Kyrgios by defeating Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (7/4), 7-5.
Gauff overcomes Rybakina, Swiatek untroubled
Coco Gauff overcame 13 double-faults on Wednesday as she battled past Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and into the third round of the WTA Toronto Masters, where top-ranked Iga Swiatek sailed through.
Gauff, the US teenager who fell to Swiatek in the French Open final this year, held on to beat Rybakina 6-4, 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (7/3).
Gauff lost out on four chances to close out a straight-sets victory as a quartet of match points came and went.
Kazakhstan’s Rybakina, aided by Gauff’s service struggles, had looked as if she might pull off another marathon victory. She had needed three hours to get past Marie Bouzkova in the first round.
But Gauff finally prevailed, 70 minutes after her first opportunities, claiming victory on her fifth match point.
Both players were appearing for the first time in Francophone Montreal after making Canadian debuts a year ago in Toronto.
World number 11 Gauff lost serve three times against Rybakina but broke on four occasions.
Meanwhile, Swiatek glided through untroubled in her second-round match, defeating Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 6-2 in 55 minutes.
The top-seeded Pole with six titles this season faced nine break points, saving six.
Swiatek was playing her second tournament since losing to Alize Cornet in the third round at Wimbledon last month, a defeat which ended her 37-match win streak.