The 19-year-old Aussie followed on from a five-set opening round win over Argentina’s Federico Delbonis to defeat 23rd seed Karlovic 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 5-7 6-4 on Wednesday evening.
Kyrgios took control in the first set tiebreaker with a pair of aces to jump ahead 5-4 before Karlovic crumbled with a double fault to hand the teenager the set.
An early break saw Kyrgios steal momentum in the second set until he gave up a 40-15 lead in the eighth game attempting to break Karlovic, forcing the youngster to instead serve out the set in the next game as the Melbourne crowd began to find its voice.
A tighter third set saw Karlovic strengthen his service game, finally managing to break Kyrgios in the 11th game and steal the set 7-5. But the 35-year-old ran out of gas as Kyrgios landed another break for a 3-2 final set lead before finishing the match with an emphatic ace.
Kyrgios will face Malek Jaziri in the third round, the second main-draw appearance of his young career.
“Much better performance and mindset today, hopefully it made up for Monday,” Kyrgios tweeted shortly after the match. “Looking forward to dubs tomorrow and then 3rd round Friday”
Kyrgios was slammed for a moody post-match interview and didn’t respond well to comments made by John Newcombe in the commentary box suggesting the fellow Aussie would be best suited to close out the match in four sets rather than in a risky fifth set against an experienced opponent.
“That’s usually what happens when you lose the fourth set, you go into a fifth one,” Kyrgios responded bluntly after the victory.
Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images.