The more Kyrgios rubbed that shoulder, the more tentative Nakashima became. He missed seven of eight first serves in the third game of the second set, then missed a forehand on break point, and suddenly Kyrgios had the momentum.
And then the numbers on the board tracking the speed of Kyrgios’s serve began to climb, from the 110s into the 120s in miles per hour and upward from there. And the blasted forehands started to reappear. Serving at a tight moment late in the set, Kyrgios hit 137 and 132 on the radar gun. Minutes later, he was all even.
Nakashima settled back down early in the third set. On serve, midway through, Kyrgios called for the physiotherapist and a medical timeout. As Kyrgios received a massage, Nakashima got up from his chair and performed shadow drills facing the stands instead of Kyrgios.
Back on the court, Kyrgios served once more well above 120 m.p.h. He stretched his advantage in a tiebreaker with a 129 m.p.h. ace, then won it rifling a forehand return.
“He was still serving fine after the medical timeout, still ripping the ball, so I don’t think it was that big of an injury,” said Nakashima, who had no answers for Kyrgios’s serve or forehand in the third-set tiebreaker.
That shoulder drama — Kyrgios later described it as one of his “niggles” that he had treated with some painkillers — ended there.