Back on the singles court Tuesday night for the first time since last month’s Wimbledon final, Nick Kyrgios picked up where he left off with a commanding win at the Citi Open. Still dressed in his white tennis clothes, at least his shirt and hat, Kyrgios outscored Marcos Giron 6-3, 6-2 in just under an hour.
The Aussie was a different class once he settled into the afternoon session match, saving an early break point before dominating 3-3 in the first set. “I came out a bit slow, obviously in very different conditions than at Wimbledon,” said Kyrgios, who later admitted it took a long time to get over his final four-set loss to Novak Djokovic.
“I think it was a bit of nerves too. I won the tournament in 2019. Seeing my name in the stadium and then knowing that I didn’t play well here last year – I lost the first round and I was just going through such a dark time in my life.
“I am so happy to be here with my team, the love and support of the crowd. I am very happy to be here playing good tennis again.” Kyrgios finished with 12 aces and a win rate of 82 percent (28/34). at the first service, along with some tweeners.
He also revived a tradition that served him well in his 2019 Washington title run: asking a front-row fan where to serve on match point. Although Kyrgios missed the target on the first serve and apologized to the fan, he fired an unreturned second delivery to wrap up the comfortable victory.
The unseeded Aussie improved to 9-0 in the opening rounds this season and 22-7 on the year. Next, he will meet 14th seed Tommy Paul in the American’s opening match at the ATP 500 event. Another local favorite, fourth seed Reilly Opelka, could wait in the third round.
Kyrgios could break into the top 40
Nick Kyrgios is a better player than his world ranking of No. 63 would suggest. “It’s (the ranking’s) not really an accolade or anything,” said Kyrgios. … My ranking has never sort of reflected my game.
That’s also due to the schedule I play. I have never really played a full schedule. Towards the end of the year, it’s just too much travel for me,” said Kyrgios. “It’s not something I’m willing to explore either.
I don’t want to give that time at home up and time with my family and girlfriend. We need that time at home. I’m not worried about my ranking. It would help in certain things.”