Australian 15th seed Nick Kyrgios overcame the gritty challenge of Radek Stepanek by 6-4 6-3 6-7(9) 6-1 on Tuesday, foiling the Czech player’s bid to become the oldest man to win a grand slam singles match in almost 25 years.
After the players exchanged breaks of serve early on the Australian playing a lax seventh game to concede his Kyrgios made the decisive break of the first set in the tenth game.
Kyrgios took the second on a single break and had the chance to wrap things up in straight sets when he served for the match at 5-4.
But the Czech, at 37 Kyrgios’ senior by 16 years, broke back and took the third set in a marathon tie-break 11-9, luring Kyrgios to the net with one of many drop shot before passing him with a cross-court forehand.
That burst of energy seemed to tire the Czech, and Kyrgios who next plays Germany’s unseeded Dustin Brown stormed through the fourth set with two further breaks of serve to wrap up victory in two hours and 26 minutes.