Nick Kyrgios ranted, showboated and even appeared to take a mid-match nap but it was 2012 champion Andy Murray who prevailed in their US Open clash 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 on Tuesday. (Complete coverage of US Open 2015)
In the tournament's most eagerly-awaited first-round duel, third seed Murray claimed his fourth win in four meetings against the sport's new bogeyman and third in three Grand Slam matchups this year. (Also read: Hewitt wins | Wawrinka cruises | Kokkinakis gets the cramps)
The British star, who has made at least the quarter-finals in New York every year since 2010, goes on to tackle France's Adrian Mannarino for a spot in the last 32.
Australia's Kyrgios, the world 37, goes away to contemplate facing Murray again in the Davis Cup semi-finals later this month.
"I got the momentum back at the start of the fourth set and I was serving pretty well, got a lot of free points," said Murray.
"But it was tough conditions, very humid, I had to do a lot of running and defending.
"Nick is a great athlete and has all the shots."
Kyrgios came into the tournament under the shadow of a suspension after his now infamous and lurid Montreal rant at Stan Wawrinka, but that threat only applies to ATP events.
So it was no surprise that the first profanity from the Australian came after just four games of the first set, when he complained about fans taking their seats during points.
As well as his questionable verbal dexterity, Kyrgios showed that he can also play the game, even if it is only in fleeting passages.
An ambitious between the leg push teed up a winning forehand while a cool drop shot saved one set point in the opener.
Murray wrapped up the first set, which prompted the Australian to slump in his chair at the changeover with his eyes firmly shut.
Kyrgios then sleepwalked into more trouble.
He allowed his racquet to slip out of his sweaty grasp at one stage in the second set before another attempt at a lazy 'tweener' allowed Murray to open a 5-2 lead on his way to a two-set lead.
Kyrgios, despite complaining about the floodlights on the Arthur Ashe Stadium, rallied to break for a 2-0 lead in the third set but Murray hit back immediately.
From nowhere, Kyrgios snatched the set when Murray was broken to love -- it was the first set the 20-year-old Australian had taken off the Briton.
But it was a brief respite.
Murray broke in the first game of the fourth set and Kyrgios bellowed out his frustration so violently that he was warned for swearing.
The Scot was two breaks to the good at 4-1 and sprinted away for a victory based on 18 aces and 46 winners.