Nick Kyrgios is taking on Daniil Medvedev on Monday morning (AEST) in the most salivating battle the US Open has seen this tournament.
The Aussie is coming off a red-hot third round win where he moved through to the Round of 16 at Flushing Meadows for the first time in his career.
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In Kyrgios’ favour is that he has a rare 3-1 head to head winning record over the reigning champion, and their showdown is the talk of New York right now.
It is the prime time match on US television as the opening match of the night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Kyrgios secured the first break of serve in the first set and went ahead 4-2 in a moment that brought the crowd to its feet.
However, it was soon 5-5 when Medvedev broke back in a service game when he twice gestured for the crowd to cheer louder.
The gestures did not go unnoticed.
“The games begin,” Aussie great Tod Woodbridge said in commentary.
“He’s saying, ‘Which side are you on? I’m the champion. You love to hate me, you learned to love me, and I’m back’.”
Defeat for Medvedev on Sunday would mean he will lose his world number one ranking after the US Open.
The 26-year-old Medvedev has made the semi-finals or better in the last three years at the US Open.
He admits that he has been “surprised” by Kyrgios’s rejuvenation as a player which has seen him return to the top 25 having been close to slipping out of the top 100 at the end of 2021.
“We are both quite electric. You never know what’s going to happen,” said Medvedev who has been untroubled so far at the tournament.
“I don’t think we are friends. When I say ‘friends’, we haven’t been to the bar together.
“I feel like we respect each other a lot. On the court also we never really had any fight or anything, which can change any moment.
“We are both quite electric. You never know what’s going to happen in the future.
“Nick is a little bit different from other tennis players sometimes on the court. That’s his choice. That’s his life. I’m not the one to judge.”
Despite dropping just one set on his way through to the fourth round it has been a turbulent campaign for Kyrgios, highlighted by a series of tirades towards the people sitting in his player’s box.
Meanwhile, Carlos Alcaraz says it is “crazy” that Kyrgios selected him as the man to beat at the US Open.
Alcaraz, 19, is hoping to become the first teenager to win a Grand Slam title since Rafael Nadal in 2005.
“For me, it is crazy that Kyrgios says that I’m the favourite or I’m going to win the tournament,” he said.
“I would say he’s one of the favourites, as well.”
Originally published as US Open 2022 Nick Kyrgios vs Daniil Medvedev live: Rival’s incendiary gesture