CANADA-- Nick Kyrgios produced a serve-and-volley masterclass to topple world number one Daniil Medvedev 6-7(2) 6-4 6-2 at the Canadian Open in Montreal on Wednesday for his eighth straight win.
It appeared that the top seeded Russian had all the momentum when he eased through the first set tiebreaker and the temperamental Kyrgios smashed a ball into the stratosphere in frustration.
But the Australian regrouped and broke Medvedev's serve to begin the second set and served his way out of trouble in the following game for a 2-0 lead that he would not relinquish.
The match's pivotal moment came in the fourth game of the third set when Kyrgios raced from corner to corner to deliver a backhand that the charging Russian could not handle, putting Kyrgios up a service break that sent the sunsoaked fans to their feet.
Kyrgios, who won 82% of his first serves, held at love in the final game to seal a place in the last 16.
"Be strong Ma," Kyrgios wrote on a TV camera lens following the victory, referring to his mother who has been struggling with health issues.
Earlier in the day world number four Carlos Alcaraz's game inexplicably unravelled as he blew a match point before being beaten 6-7(4) 7-6(7) 6-3 by American Tommy Paul in an absorbing second round encounter.
Alcaraz appeared to be heading towards victory when he bagged the first-set tiebreak before opening up a 4-1 lead in the second.
But the 34th-ranked American clawed his way back, converting break points in the seventh and ninth games.
Alcaraz stood on the cusp of victory when he earned a match point during the second set tiebreak but once Paul saved it, the 19-year-old Spaniard's challenge faded as he struggled to overcome the disappointment of not wrapping up the match in straight sets.
The American, who won his sole ATP title at the Stockholm Open last year, fired off 14 winners in the third set.
Although Alcaraz saved four match points in the decider, he could not deny Paul from completing one of the biggest wins in his career.
Paul clinched it at the net in the next game, offering up a subdued celebration.
Norwegian Casper Ruud survived a tight first set to push past Slovakian Alex Molcan 7-6(3) 6-3.
Ruud had little trouble with Molcan, firing off 13 aces and 40 winners to set up a clash with Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut.
In other second round action, Australia's Alex de Minaur, Italy's Jannik Sinner, Croatia's Marin Cilic and Spaniards Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreno Busta were all victorious.