Australian Open: Tweener, Tickings-Off As “Pretty Average” Nick Kyrgios Wins Melbourne Opener


2021-02-08 11:07:18




A typically vocal Nick Kyrgios made a winning start to his home Grand Slam Monday, cruising past Portugese qualifier Frederico Ferreira Silva in straight sets and winning one point with a tweener. The volatile Kyrgios, who reached the Australian Open‘s round of 16 last year, is targeting a maiden Slam title with quarter-finals in Melbourne and at Wimbledon his best showings so far.

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He mostly kept his cool in the impressive 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 drubbing against an opponent ranked 184, but it didn’t start well.

The unseeded Kyrgios was broken on his opening service game and the on-court microphone picked him up saying to his box: “Are you awake? You’re saying one thing for two games.” 

In the next game a frustrated Kyrgios yelled: “Tell your girlfriend to get out of my box.”

But he settled down and composed himself to break back then break again to wrap up the first set.

He picked up an early break in the second set and, with his serve firing, raced through the match, treating the crowd to a successful tweener shot between his legs as Ferreira Silva served to stay in the contest.

“It was special,” he said of his first Grand Slam match in a year in front of a noisy crowd but reduced-capacity crowd at John Cain Arena.

“It felt normal to be honest, you guys were going nuts and it as good to see.”

Despite the straight-sets win, Kyrgios said it was far from his best tennis.

“Honestly, it was pretty average. I haven’t played a Grand Slam match in over a year and I was definitely nervous,” he said.

“I knew I wasn’t going to be able to produce anywhere near my best tennis. I’m just happy I got through ultimately.”

Kyrgios struggled with a left knee injury at the Murray River Open last week, and was on the verge of pulling out of a match against Borna Coric.

He wasn’t wearing any strapping Monday but received treatment at the end of the second set.

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Kyrgios suffered a wrist injury at the Acapulco Open in February 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic brought his season to a halt.

He next plays 29th seed Ugo Humbert of France with the prospect of a third round clash against third seed Dominic Thiem.

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