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Nick Kyrgios Stays Out Of Late-Night U.S. Open Tennis Fireworks As Chung vs. Verdasco Goes 5 • Taylor Townsend Upsets Halep

By Ricky Dimon

Perhaps the biggest upset of the 2019 U.S. Open so far–and there have been a lot–was that there were some nighttime fireworks on Thursday and Nick Kyrgios wasn’t a part of it.

That’s right; Kyrgios played a night match on the Grandstand and it progressed without any kind of incident whatsoever…at least not any kind of incident by Kyrgios’ lofty standards. The 24-year-old Aussie beat Antoine Hoang in straight sets with little fuss aside from a couple of arguments with the chair umpire and supervisor late in the third set.

Instead, much of the drama was to be had on Court 10, where Fernando Verdasco was facing Hyeon Chung. A roller-coaster ride saw Verdasco dominate the first two sets, blow all of that lead, recover to reach match point in the fifth, squander match point, and eventually lose in a decisive tiebreaker.

Verdasco at least saw the contest all the way through… which is more than one of the fans could say.

Someone got arrested by three police offers with Chung serving at 4-5, 30-40 in the fifth set. You can’t make this stuff up, folks. Then again, you don’t have to make it up. This is the U.S. Open. Stuff like that happens… just not usually on match point of a five-set thriller. Talk about bad timing! 

I’m not sure what the deal was, but it sounded like one of the cops in front of me asked one of the ushers, “Which one is the thief?” Whatever the case, the were not about to let this dude sit through the end of the match. They came in and swooped him up in the middle of points–yes, match point–before escorting him out of Court 10, out of the grounds, and to the cop cars.

Anyway, Chung saved match point after an extended rally when Verdasco shanked a forehand, and the oft-injured South Korean soon completed a 1-6, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6(3) victory.

Back to the upset thing, though. What’s really the biggest upset so far was Taylor Townsend knocking off Simona Halep on Thursday afternoon. Wow! Despite failing to serve out the match at 5-4 in the third, Townsend recovered in a final-set tiebreaker to triumph 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(4).

For the American lefty, it was especially much-needed after she lost at Wimbledon from match point up against Kiki Bertens.

“Just to be able to, get over the hump, it’s such an amazing feeling because after Wimbledon I was devastated after I lost to Bertens after having a match point.

“That woke me up…. I put my head down and just worked really hard and just tried to take the positives away from it, just continue to press forward. I think for so long that’s been kind of, like, my whole thing, is just continue to press forward and just realize that, like, I belong on this level. You know what I mean? I’ve had a lot of people doubting me being able to break through, quote unquote.

It’s just confirmation more for myself that I’m on the right path, doing the right things. You keep your head down and keep working and you see what happens.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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