Aussie bad boy Nick Kyrgios posted an impressive opening round win at the Australian Open on Tuesday night, beating Italian Lorenzo Sonego 6-2 7-6(3) 7-6(1).
Kyrgios, seeded No.23 was given a good workout from the Italian, seeded 30 placed below him at No.53 but despite some pressure in the second set, eased to victory in just over two hours.
Sonego held serve at 4-3 in tier second set and the Australian began a rant about the noise around the stadium.
“You know how hard it is to block that out?” Kyrgios shouted at the chair umpire. “It’s impossible.”
Moments later the stadium lights went out, and Kyrgios found time to smile and regain his composure.
Kyrgios overcame the noise – especially as it was urging him to victory, and the Italian’s chance was gone.
“I was excited to get out here,” he told commentator John McEnroe afterwards.
“Obviously it’s been a pretty emotional couple of months for all of us (with the bushfires) so I wanted to come out here and put on a good performance.
“He’s a tough competitor. He’s a very good player. I played him once, I knew it was going to be tough.”
There was a slight scare when Kyrgios pulled up after a point late in the match but insisted there was nothing to it.
“I move like a giraffe sometimes,” he joked.
“I tripped over – I’m pretty dramatic sometimes.”
Kyrgios will play the winner of the match between Pablo Cuevas and Gilles Simon in the second round.
The 23-year-old was one of eight Australians to advance on day two, with John Millman, Jordan Thompson, Marc Polmans, Ajla Tomljanovic, Alexei Popyrin, Alex Bolt and Arina Rodionova all posting first round victories.
- McEnroe has agreed to donate $1000 to Australian Bushfire Relief for every set Nick Kyrgios wins at the Open.