Nick Kyrgios has made a mockery of the rankings with a win over world No 8 Casper Ruud in a grudge match at Indian Wells. Kyrgios made it clear the bad blood between the pair remains after swatting the Norwegian aside 6-4, 6-4 with another serving masterclass on Tuesday.
The two had not clashed since Kyrgios infamously defaulted himself after throwing a chair onto the court during the 2019 Italian Open in Rome. Ruud called Kyrgios out afterwards, suggesting the combustible Australian deserved to be banned for six months.
Kyrgios posted an Instagram apology a few hours later saying emotions had gotten the better of him but he and Ruud continued to trade some long-range barbs.
Four years on and Kyrgios had the last laugh after crunching seven aces and having almost half his serves untouched to send Ruud packing after just 76 minutes.
“I hear no talking now. None. Fucking none,” Kyrgios fired at his vanquished rival after storming into the last 16 at Indian Wells for the first time in five years.
Kyrgios’s impressive win set up a fourth-round showdown with another of the tour’s young guns, Italian 10th seed Jannik Sinner.
Despite needing a wildcard entry and languishing at No 132 in the world after playing only sparingly the past two years during the pandemic, Kyrgios will fancy his chances against Sinner.
Another upset win could earn Australia’s two-time grand slam quarter-finalist a quarter-final shot at Rafael Nadal, who remains unbeaten in 2022 after powering past Dan Evans in straight sets in his third-round match.