Nick Kyrgios was out of answers.
Nick Kyrgios was out of answers.

Woeful Kyrgios caught in tanking storm

NICK Kyrgios's commitment to tennis is again being questioned after a shocking straight-sets third-round loss at Wimbledon.

Completing a miserable day for Australia at The All England Club, Kyrgios crashed to a 6-1 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 defeat at the hands of Japanese superstar Kei Nishikori.

The 15th seed's elimination left Australia without a second-week contender for the second year running after Alex de Minaur, Matt Ebden and women's hopes Ashleigh Barty and Daria Gavrilova all also lost.

Kyrgios's exit, though, was undoubtedly the most disappointing - and dramatic. Two days after being dubbed as "pathetic" for his childish conduct by former women's champion Marion Bartoli, Kyrgios handed his critics more ammunition with a lifeless first-set performance.

Looking utterly disinterested, Kyrgios gifted Nishikori a second service break - and effectively the set with a 5-1 advantage - when he fired a 215kph second-serve double-fault on break point.

"He kind of gave up," ex-British Davis Cup star Andrew Castle said on the BBC after Kyrgios surrendered the opening set in 16 minutes.

"What we've got here is Kyrgios sort of tanking," a commentator said.

Another added: "He's not going to give up the match but he's going to give up this set. He's decided that's enough."

Former Australian Open finalist and British Davis Cup captain John Lloyd went further, saying the tempestuous talent "has to make his mind up to how much he wants to commit to winning slams".

Nick Kyrgios was no match for Nishikori.
Nick Kyrgios was no match for Nishikori.

Kyrgios, though, did muster the grit to retrieve a service break in the second set to force a tiebreaker.

Alas, his frustrations boiled to the surface after missing a backhand pass to give Nishikori three set points. Kyrgios drilled a return deep towards Nishikori's feet, only for the World No. 28 to calmly reply with a barely believable winner.

Unable to contain his frustration, Kyrgios was given a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct after he belted a ball into the stands, sparking loud jeers from the crowd at Show Court 1.

Staring down the barrel, Kyrgios complained of being unable to move at one point as the match - which only started at 7.25pm local time - continued under fading light.

Kyrgios probably preferred it hadn't.

It was all over well before sunset, with Nishikori finishing off the Australian after just one hour and 37 minutes.

Speaking after the match, Kyrgios said the occasion got the better of him.

"I felt great this morning. Hit the ball fine. As soon as I got out there, I just didn't feel good," he said. "I was pretty uptight. A lot of nerves. I just struggled with a lot of things today. I just never settled.

"Obviously getting broken first game didn't help me. I just kind of panicked. Everything kind of just went south.

"I mean, he played well. I always find it tough playing him."

Nishikori's victory comes two days after he took out fellow Australian former All England Club quarter-finalist Bernard Tomic in four sets. While the scrutiny will centre on Kyrgios, the Asian trailblazer played some blinding tennis and now looms as a genuine contender to emerge from a wide-open bottom half of the draw and make next Sunday's final.

The 2014 US Open runner-up next plays Ernests Gulbis for a place in the quarter- finals for the first time after the Latvian qualifier continued his giant- killing run with a five-set comeback win over German world No. 4 Alexander Zverev.

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