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Kyrgios Stunner: Aussie Saves Nine Match Points

Wimbledon, Great Britain

Kyrgios© Getty ImagesNick Kyrgios saved nine match points to beat Richard Gasquet.

Thursday was a day for marathon matches at The Championships. Four five-set nail-biters were completed at the All England Club.

Australian wild card Nick Kyrgios saved nine match points as he came back from two sets down to stun No. 13 seed Richard Gasquet 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-5, 10-8 in seven minutes shy of four hours on No. 2 Court. The right-hander saved 14 of the 16 break points he faced and hit 86 winners to 44 unforced errors. It is the biggest win of his career.

"It was an unbelievable match out there," said Kyrgios. "My first ever two-sets-love down, coming back and winning. It's an amazing feeling... I played some unbelievable tennis today. He was coming up with some really good shots as well. I saved nine match points. There's plenty of opportunities he could have taken. I came out on top, I'm really happy."

The only other male player to save as many match points in a Grand Slam singles victory was Vincent Spadea against Florent Serra in the 2004 Roland Garros first round.

In a third-round battle of the ATP World Tour young guns, Kyrgios will play Jiri Vesely on Saturday. The 19-year-old Kyrgios came into Wimbledon having qualified into and won an ATP Challenger Tour title on grass in Nottingham, prompting Andy Murray to write on Twitter: “Another challenger win for @nickkyrgios this time on grass.. also won challengers on hard and clay! Next big aussie star. We will be seeing a lot of him very shortly on the main tour.”

"It's a massive steppingstone for me to finally reach the third round of a Grand Slam. I'm going to take a lot of confidence moving forward," said Kyrgios. He added later, "My goal is to become the No. 1 player in the world."

Learn More About Kyrgios

Watch Kyrgios Tuesday Interview

Vesely, the recipient of the 2013 ATP Star of Tomorrow Award presented by Emirates, defeated No. 24 seed Gael Monfils 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-7(7), 6-4 in three hours and 13 minutes. The Czech reached the third round of a major for the first time as he withstood 23 aces and saved four of the five break points he faced, including one as he served for the match. 

"He had a massive win today, winning in five sets," said Kyrgios. "He's also young. He's on the rise. He's got a really aggressive game, big serve. Big hitter as well. I think the grass is suiting him nicely."

Watch Vesely Interview | Read Stars Of Tomorrow Feature

After winning his first main draw match at a major at Roland Garros to reach the second round (l. to Raonic), the 20-year-old Vesely reached two ATP Challenger Tour finals on clay in the Czech Republic. The left-hander had reached his first ATP World Tour semi-final the week prior to Roland Garros in Dusseldorf (l. to Karlovic).

Another seed fell as Italy’s Simone Bolelli ousted No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 in just over three hours. World No. 132 Bolelli, a lucky loser, is through to the third round of a major for the first time in three years, since upsetting Stan Wawrinka at Wimbledon in 2011 (l. to Gasquet), again as a lucky loser. The 28 year old had only won two tour-level matches this season coming into Wimbledon.

No. 14 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga saved one match point as he completed a 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-7(4), 6-3, 14-12 victory over Sam Querrey. Querrey held a match point at 5-6 on Tsonga’s serve on Wednesday evening before play was abandoned due to darkness at 9-9. At the resumption, Tsonga broke in the 25th game and served out victory in three hours and 48 minutes.

"It's always good to win like this," said Tsonga. "It's good for my confidence, and it's good for my game to stay on the court, play points, live some difficult moments."

The 29-year-old Tsonga is a two-time semi-finalist at the All England Club, losing to Novak Djokovic in 2011 and Andy Murray in 2012. He goes on to face Jimmy Wang.

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