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A touch of controversy: Nick Kyrgios complains of marijuana smell during US Open win over Benjamin Bonzi | Nick Kyrgios

Hotheads, potheads, and beer chugs. It’s appealing as the type of vibrant New York scene where Nick Kyrgios usually shines on the court. But when he gets his racket, things get unpredictable. As the Australian once again proved the case at Wednesday’s US Open before he found his groove late in the party.

The Wimbledon finalist has been searching for his best form for a long time as he beats Benjamin Bonzi 7-6, (7-3) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 at Louis Armstrong Stadium. I was struggling. This was due to the tenacity and resilience of his poker-faced rival, which kept his emotions in check when the Australian’s temper frayed.

“I was literally hanging by a thread. His level today was great,” said Kyrgios. “I wasn’t expecting an absolute method. I played pretty risky tennis in the fourth set to win.”

In a surreal moment, Canberran complained to referee Jaume Campistol about the smell of marijuana that wafted over the court as his rivals pressed on late in the second set. The Australians were right too. Because the wafting smell of weed courtside was easy. At one point, Campistol asked fans to refrain from smoking around the court where the party atmosphere was strong.

Kyrgios said he was an asthma sufferer and was careful that the gas could throw him off balance. [it but] I have severe asthma,” he said. “It’s hard to breathe when you’re running side by side. [so it is] It’s probably not something you want to breathe between points.

Louis Armstrong Stadium, about 2km from where the iconic musician whose name adorns the court lived for the last 28 years of his life, is anything but tennis standard. Kyrgios is often accused of creating a circus on the court, but sitting courtside at Armstrong feels like attending a carnival, especially as sunny days linger into hot summer nights. .

Reopened in 2018, the award-winning conversion of the court creates a unique aura with an open concourse between the lower terrace and nosebleed section. The enhanced ventilation is great for fans on sweltering summer days, but gusts of wind can prove difficult for tennis his players looking to drop shots on five-cent pieces.

The movement of people on the concourse is constant, as is the loud hum from conversations taking place in the beer lines and food lines at nearby restaurants. All of this makes the usual rules of silence and sitting during points almost irrelevant. For someone with a distracting nature like Kyrgios, the cumulative effect of the various elements makes the task of winning the match even more difficult.

If he could fray in the final at classy Wimbledon, where interacting with fans caused him legal trouble, this was certainly an environment that would challenge him. Said. “I think Wimbledon was very appropriate. [The] The Australian Open is what you are expected to do as an Australian,” he said. “But it’s just loud here. Pointing, pointing, I can barely hear it. It’s always so loud that half the time I can’t even hear my team.”

“Today at Armstrong, for someone who is having trouble focusing on my career, listening to trains and people, I will put my head down and play point by point to help myself out of a particular situation. I’m trying to dig myself out.It’s hard because there are a lot of distractions.There’s obviously a lot of heckling going on.People are saying things.I have to be careful with what I say these days.”

Kyrgios shoots between his legs.
Kyrgios shoots between his legs. Photo: Javier Garcia/REX/Shutterstock

I had a magical moment. Bonzi lunged for his shot after Kyrgios passed in the first-set tiebreaker, leaving him off the racket and down on the court for the second time he scored a point. The American wild card No. 23 seed, who faces J.J. Wolff in the third round on Friday, hasn’t served as well as he did during the most consistent season of his career. But Kyrgios still scored his 30 aces, some of them with crucial timing, and even when he faced several break points late in the fourth set, he still had a head start. provided painful service.

There were also moments of frustration. Spitting on his court after dropping serve in a 4-all in the third set was not desirable, and part of his frustration stems from his growing expectations. Now that he’s reached the finals at Wimbledon, he believes that if he does his best, he can compete in every major he plays.

“It’s made life more stressful. I expect to play great tennis in every tournament I play,” he said. “Compared to last year… I feel like I’m playing the best tennis of my life.

Bonzi was a staunch foe and gave Kyrgios a test to hone his form. I got promoted. An extended stint in the secondary ranks strengthened him. He took the fight to Kyrgios and refused to disappoint after dropping his two sets in the first, but he would ruin any chances he got in the fourth set.

Kyrgios lives to fight again. If he can beat Wolff, he could face world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev. It will be the match of the men’s tournament so far.

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